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Full text of "The poetical works of William Wordsworth"

THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 




ENDOWED BY THE 

DIALECTIC AND PHILANTHROPIC 

SOCIETIES 



PR5850 
v.lt 



UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



10000082795 



This book is due at the WALTER R. DAVIS LIBRARY on 
the last date stamped under "Date Due." If not on hold it 
may be renewed by bringing it to the library. 


DATE RET 
DUE KtL 


DATE RET 
DUE 




















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J^SSif 


FEB15 ^ 






























































































r orrn No, 513, 











THE 



POETICAL WORKS 



WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/poeticalworksofw4word 



THE 



POETICAL WORKS 



WILLIAM WOEDSWOETH. 



IN SIX VOLUMES. 
YOL. IY. 



A NEW EDITION. 



LONDON : 
EDWAED MOXON, DOYEE STEEET. 

1857. 



LONDON: 
BRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS. 



CONTENTS. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 
PART I. 

FROM THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO BRITAIN, TO 
THE CONSUMMATION OF THE PAPAL DOMINION. 

PAGE 

Introduction 2 

Conjectures ......... 2 

Trepidation of the Druids . ..... 3 

Druidical Excommunication 4 

Uncertainty 5 

Persecution 5 

Recovery 6 

Temptations from Roman Refinements . . . . 7 

Dissensions 7 

Struggle of the Britons against the Barbarians . . . 8 

Saxon Conquest ........ 9 

Monastery of Old Bangor . . . . . . . 9 

Casual Incitement . . . . . . .10 

Glad Tidings . . 11 

Paulinus . . . 11 

Persuasion . ., ...... 12 

Conversion ......... 13 

Apology .... 13 

Primitive Saxon Clergy 14 

Other Influences 15 



vi CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Seclusion ........ 15 

Continued . . . . . . . . . 16 

Reproof ......... 17 

Saxon Monasteries, and Lights and Shades of the Religion . 17 
Missions and Travels . . . . . . .18 

Alfred 19 

His Descendants . . . . . . . .19 

Influence Abused . . . . . . . .20 

Danish Conquests . . . . . . .21 

Canute .......... 21 

The Norman Conquest . . . . . . .22 

Coldly we spake. The Saxons, overpowered . . . 23 

The Council of Clermont 23 

Crusades . . . 24 

Richard 1 25 

An Interdict 25 

Papal Abuses . . . . . . . .26 

Scene in Venice . . . . . . . . 26 

Papal Dominion . . . . . . . .27 

PART II. 

TO THE CLOSE OF THE TROUBLES IN THE REIGN OP CHARLES I. 

How soon — alas ! did Man, created pure . . .28 

From false assumption rose, and, fondly hailed . . . 28 
Cistertian Monastery . . . . . . .29 

Deplorable his lot who tills the ground . . . . 30 

Monks and Schoolmen . . . . . . .30 

Other benefits 31 

Continued 32 

Crusaders 32 

As faith thus sanctified the warrior's crest . . .33 
Where long and deeply hath been fixed the root . . . 34 



CONTENTS. vii 

PAGE 

Transubstantiation 34 

The Yaudois . . . . . . . . . . . 35 

Praised be the Rivers, from their mountain springs . .36 

Waldenses . . . 36 

Archbishop Chichely to Henry V .37 

Wars of York and Lancaster 38 

WiclifTe . ... ^,. ..... 38 

Corruptions of the higher Clergy . . . 39 

Abuse of Monastic Power . . . . . 40 

Monastic Yoluptuousness . . . . . . . 40 

Dissolution of the Monasteries . . . . .41 

The same Subject . . 42 

Continued . .42 

Saints . . . . 43 

The Yirgin . .44 

Apology . . . 44 

Imaginative Regrets . . - . . . . .45 

Reflections 46 

Translation of the Bible 46 

The Point at Issue . ... . . . . . 47 

Edward YI. . 48 

Edward signing the Warrant for the Execution of Joan of 

Kent . . . . . . . . . . . 48 

Revival of Popery 49 

Latimer and Ridley . . . . . . 50 

Cranmer . . . . . . . . .50 

General Yiew of the Troubles of the Reformation . . . 51 
English Reformers in Exile . . . . . .52 

Elizabeth . . . . " . .. . . . 52 

Eminent Reformers . . . ... . .53 

The Same 54 

Distractions . . . . . . . . .54 

Gunpowder Plot . . . . . . 55 



vi CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Seclusion ........ 15 

Continued . . . . . . . . . 16 

Reproof ......... 17 

Saxon Monasteries, and Lights and Shades of the Religion . 17 
Missions and Travels . . . . . . .18 

Alfred 19 

His Descendants . . . . . . . .19 

Influence Abused . . . . . . .20 

Danish Conquests . . . . . . .21 

Canute .......... 21 

The Norman Conquest 22 

Coldly we spake. The Saxons, overpowered . . . 23 

The Council of Clermont 23 

Crusades . . . 24 

Richard 1 25 

An Interdict 25 

Papal Abuses 26 

Scene in Venice . . . . . . . 26 

Papal Dominion . . . . . . . .27 

PAKT II. 

TO THE CLOSE OF THE TROUBLES IN THE REIGN OP CHARLES I. 

How soon— alas ! did Man, created pure . . .28 

From false assumption rose, and, fondly hailed . . . 28 
Cistertian Monastery . . . . . . .29 

Deplorable his lot who tills the ground . . . . 30 

Monks and Schoolmen . . . . . . .30 

Other benefits . . . . . . . . 31 

Continued 32 

Crusaders 32 

As faith thus sanctified the warrior's crest . . .33 
Where long and deeply hath been fixed the root . . . 34 



CONTENTS. v ii 

PAGE 

Transubstantiation . . . . . .34 

The Vaudois . . 35 

Praised be the Rivers, from their mountain springs . .36 

Waldenses . . 36 

Archbishop Chichely to Henry V 37 

"Wars of York and Lancaster . 38 

Wicliffe . ....... 38 

Corruptions of the higher Clergy . . . 39 

Abuse of Monastic Power 40 

Monastic Voluptuousness . 40 

Dissolution of the Monasteries 41 

The same Subject . . . . . . 42 

Continued . . . . . . a . .42 

Saints ..... ..... 43 

The Virgin , . .44 

Apology . . . . . . . . . . 44 

Imaginative Regrets 45 

Reflections . . . . . . . . . 46 

Translation of the Bible . . . . . .46 

The Point at Issue . . . 47 

Edward VI. . . 48 

Edward signing the Warrant for the Execution of Joan of 

Kent . . . . . . . . . . 48 

Revival of Popery ....... 49 

Latimer and Ridley 50 

Cranmer . . 50 

General View of the Troubles of the Reformation . . . 51 
English Reformers in Exile . . . . . .52 

Elizabeth . . . . - . .. . . . 52 

Eminent Reformers . . ..'..:. . .53 

The Same . . 54 

Distractions . . ... . . . . .54 

Gunpowder Plot . . . . ... . . 55 



viii CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Illustration. The Jung-Frau and the Fall of the Rhine 

near Schaffhausen 56 

Troubles of Charles the First 56 

Laud .......... 57 

Afflictions of England 58 

PART III. 

FROM THE RESTORATION TO THE PRESENT TIMES. 

I saw the figure of a lovely Maid . . . . .59 

Patriotic Sympathies . . . . . . . 60 

Charles the Second . . . . . . .60 

Latitudinarianism . . . . . . 61 

Walton's Book of Lives . . . . . . .62 

Clerical Integrity . . . . . . 62 

Persecution of the Scottish Covenanters . . . .63 

Acquittal of the Bishops 64 

William the Third 64 

Obligations of Civil to Religious Liberty . . . .65 

Sacheverel . . . . . . . . . 66 

Down a swift Stream, thus far, a bold design . . .66 
Aspects op Christianity in America. — I. The Pilgrim 

Fathers 67 

II. Continued . 68 

III. Concluded. — 

American Episcopacy . . . . . .68 

Bishops and Priests, blessed are ye, if deep . . . 69 

Places of Worship . . . . . . .70 

Pastoral Character . . . . . . 70 

The Liturgy 71 

Baptism . . . . . . . . . . 72 

Sponsors ......... 72 

Catechising 73 



CONTENTS. ix 

PAGE 

Confirmation . . . . . . . .74 

Confirmation — Continued . . . . . 74 

Sacrament ......... 75 

The Marriage Ceremony . . . . . . . 76 

Thanksgiving after Childbirth 76 

Visitation of the Sick . . . . . . . 77 

The Commination Service 78 

Forms of Prayer at Sea 78 

Funeral Service 79 

Rural Ceremony . . . . . . 80 

Regrets 80 

Mutability 81 

Old Abbeys \ . .82 

Emigrant French Clergy 82 

Congratulation . .83 

New churches . . . . . . . . . 84 

Church to be Erected . 84 

Continued . . . . . . . 85 

New Church -yard . . . . . . .86 

Cathedrals, etc. . . . . . . . 8Q 

Inside of King's College Chapel, Cambridge . . .87 

The Same 88 

Continued . . * . . . . 88 

Ejaculation ......... 89 

Conclusion . « 90 

YARROW REVISITED, AND OTHER POEMS, 

COMPOSED (TWO EXCEPTED) DURING A TOUR IN SCOTLAND, AND 
ON THE ENGLISH BORDER, IN THE AUTUMN OF 1831. 

The gallant Youth, who may have gained . . .93 
On the Departure of Sir Walter Scott from Abbotsford, for 

Naples 97 



x CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

A Place of Burial in the South of Scotland . . . 98 

On the Sight of a Manse in the South of Scotland . . 99 

Composed in Eoslin Chapel, during a Storm . . . 100 

The Trosachs 101 

The pibroch's note, discountenanced or mute . 102 
Composed in the Glen of Loch Etive . . . .103 

Eagles. Composed at Dunollie Castle in the Bay of Oban 104 

In the Sound of Mull 105 

Suggested at Tyndrum in a Storm . . . .106 

The Earl of Breadalbane's Ruined Mansion, and Family 

Burial-place, near Killin . . . . 106 

1 Rest and be Thankful ! ' At the Head of Gleneroe >. 107 

Highland Hut ' . . 108 

The Highland Broach . . ... . .108 

The Brownie 112 

To the Planet Venus, an Evening Star. Composed at 

Loch Lomond . . . . . . . 113 

Bothwell Castle. Passed unseen, on account of stormy 

Weather 113 

Picture of Daniel in the Lions' Den, at Hamilton Palace . 114 

The Avon. A Feeder of the Annan . . . . 115 

Suggested by a View from an Eminence in Inglewood Forest 116 

Hart's-horn Tree, near Penrith . . . . . 117 

Fancy and Tiadition .... ... 117 

Countess' Pillar . . . . . . . . 118 

Roman Antiquities. From the Roman Station at Old Penrith 119 

Apology, for the foregoing Poems . . . 120 

EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 

Calm is the fragrant air, and loth to lose . . .122 

On a high Part of the Coast of Cumberland . . . 123 

By the Sea-side ........ 124 

Not in the lucid intervals of life . . . . . 126 



CONTENTS. xi 

PAGE 

By the Side of Rydal Mere 127 

Soft as a cloud is yon blue Ridge — the Mere . . . 128 
The leaves that rustled on this oak-crowned hill . .130 

The sun has long been set 131 

Composed upon an Evening of extraordinary Splendour 

and Beauty . . . . . . .132 

Composed by the Sea- shore .135 

The Crescent-moon, the Star of Love . . . .137 
To the Moon. Composed by the Sea-side, — on the Coast 

of Cumberland . . . . . . . 137 

To the Moon. Rydal. 140 

To Lucca Giordano . . . . . . . 142 

"Who but is pleased to watch the moon on high . .142 
Where lies the truth ? has Man, in wisdom's creed . . 143 



POEMS, COMPOSED OR SUGGESTED DURING A TOUR, 
IN THE SUMMER OF 1833. 

Adieu, Rydalian Laurels ! that have grown . . .144 
Why should the Enthusiast, journeying through this Isle. 145 
They called Thee Merry England, in old time . . 145 

To the River Greta, near Keswick . . . .146 

To the River Derwent . . . . . • • . . 147 
In Sight of the Town of Cockermouth . . . .147 
Address from the Spirit of Cockermouth Castle . . 148 

Nun's Well, Brigham 149 

To a Friend. On the Banks of the Derwent . . . 150 
Mary Queen of Scots. Landing at the Mouth of the 

Derwent, Workington . . . . . .151 

Stanzas suggested in a Steam-boat off St. Bees' Heads, on 

the coast of Cumberland . . . . . . 152 

In the Channel, between the Coast of Cumberland and 

the Isle of Man . 158 



xii CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

At Sea off the Isle of Man 158 

Desire we past illusions to recal ? . . . . .159 

On entering Douglas Bay, Isle of Man. . . 160 
By the Sea- shore, Isle of Man . . . . .160 

Isle of Man 161 

Isle of Man ........ 162 

By a Retired Mariner. H. H. . . . . . 163 

At Bala-Sala, Isle of Man. (Supposed to "be written by 

a Friend) 163 

TynwaldHill 164 

Despond who will — 7" heard a voice exclaim . . .165 
In the Frith of Clyde, Ailsa Crag. During an Eclipse of 

the Sun, July 17 166 

On the Frith of Clyde. In a Steam-boat . . .167 

On revisiting Dunolly Castle . . . . . 168 

The Dunolly Eagle 168 

Written in a Blank Leaf of Macpherson's Ossian . . 169 

Cave of Staffa 172 

Cave of Staffa. After the Crowd had departed . . 173 

Cave of Staffa 173 

Flowers on the Top of the Pillars at the Entrance of the 

Cave 174 

Iona 175 

Iona. Upon Landing . . . . . . 175 

The Black stones of Iona 176 

Homeward we turn. Isle of Columba's Cell . . . 177 

Greenock ......... 177 

" There ! " said a Stripling, pointing with meet pride . 178 

The Biyer Eden, Cumberland 179 

Monument of Mrs. Howard (by Nollekens), in Wetheral 

Church, near Corby, on the Banks of the Eden . 180 

Suggested by the foregoing 181 

Nunnery 182 



CONTENTS. xiii 

PAGE 

Steamboats, Viaducts, and Railways . . . . 183 

The Monument commonly called Long Meg and her 

Daughters, near the River Eden . . . .183 
Lowther ......... 184 

To the Earl of Lonsdale 185 

The Somnambulist . . . . . . 186 

To Cordelia M -, Hallsteads, Ullswater . . .192 

Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes . . 192 



POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Expostulation and Reply 194 

The Tables Turned. An evening Scene on the same 

Subject . . . 196 

Lines written in Early Spring . . . . .197 

A Character . . . . . . . . . 199 

To my Sister . . . . . . . .200 

Simon Lee, the old Huntsman ; with an Incident in 

which he was concerned . . . . . . 202 

Written in Germany, on one of the coldest Days of the 

Century 206 

A Poet's Epitaph 208 

To the Daisy 210 

Matthew 211 

The two April Mornings 213 

The Fountain. A Conversation 215 

Personal Talk ' 218 

Illustrated Books and Newspapers 221 

To the Spade of a Friend. (An Agriculturist.) Composed 
while we were labouring together in his Pleasure- 
ground ....... « 221 

A Night Thought 224 



xiv CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Incident characteristic of a favourite Dog . . .225 
Tribute to the Memory of the same Dog . . . . 226 

Fidelity 228 

Ode to Duty 231 

Character of the Happy Warrior . . . .233 

The Force of Prayer ; or, the Founding of Bolton Priory. 

A Tradition .237 

A Fact, and an Imagination ; or, Canute and Alfred, on 

the Sea-shore . . . . . . . 240 

To Dora 242 

Ode to Lycoris 244 

To the Same 247 

The sylvan slopes with corn-clad fields . . . . 249 

Upon the same Occasion 250 

Memory 252 

This Lawn, a carpet all alive 254 

Humanity 255 

The unremitting voice of nightly streams . . . 259 

Thought on the Seasons 280 

To , upon the birth of her First-born Child, March, 

1833 261 

The Warning. A Sequel to the foregoing . . . 264 

If this great world of joy and pain . . . .269 

The Labourer's Noon-day Hymn 270 

Ode, composed on May Morning . . . . .272 

To May 275 

Lines suggested by a Portrait from the Pencil of F. Stone . 278 
The foregoing Subject resumed . . . . . 283 
So fair, so sweet, withal so sensitive . . . . 284 

Upon seeing a coloured Drawing of the Bird of Paradise 

in an Album 285 



CONTENTS. xv 

SONNETS DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 

PAGE 

Composed after reading a Newspaper of the Day . . 288 
Upon the late General Fast. March, 1832 . . . 288 
Said Secrecy to Cowardice and Fraud . . . .289 
Blest Statesman He, whose Mind's unselfish will . . 290 
In allusion to various recent Histories and Notices of the 

French Revolution 290 

Continued 291 

Concluded .291 

Men of the Western World ! in Fate's dark book . . 292 

To the Pennsylvanians 293 

At Bologna, in Remem brance of the late Insurrections, 1837 293 

Continued . . . 294 

Concluded 295 

Young England — what is then become of Old . . . 295 
Feel for the wrongs to universal ken . . . .296 

SONNETS UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. 

Suggested by the Yiew of Lancaster Castle (on the Road 

from the South) 297 

Tenderly do we feel by Nature's law . . . . 298 

The Roman Consul doomed his sons to die . . . 298 

Is Death, when evil against good has fought . . . 299 
Not to the object specially designed . . . .299 
Ye brood of conscience — Spectres ! that frequent . . 300 
Before the world had past her time of youth . . .301 

Fit retribution, by the moral code 301 

Though to give timely warning and deter . . .302 
Our bodily life, some plead, that life the shrine . . 302 

Ah, think how one compelled for life to abide . .303 
See the Condemned alone within his cell . . . . 304 

Conclusion ........ 304 

Apology . . 305 



xvi CONTENTS. 

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

PAGE 

Epistle to Sir George Howland Beaumont, Bart. From 

the South-West Coast of Cumberland.— 1811 . . 306 
Upon perusing the foregoing Epistle thirty Years after its 

Composition . . . . , . .317 

Gold and Silver Fishes in a Vase 318 

Liberty. (Sequel to the above. ) [Addressed to a Friend ; 

the G-old and Silver Fishes having been removed to a 

Pool in the Pleasure-ground of Bydal Mount] . . 321 

Poor Robin 326 

The Gleaner. (Suggested by a Picture) . . .328 

To a Redbreast — (in Sickness) . . . . . 329 

I know an aged Man constrained to dwell . . .330 

Sonnet. (To an Octogenarian) ..... 331 

Floating Island ........ 332 

How beautiful the Queen of Night, on high . . . 333 
Once I could hail (howe'er serene the sky) . . .334 
To the Lady Fleming, on seeing the Foundation preparing 

for the Erection of Bydal Chapel, Westmoreland . 336 

On the same Occasion ....... 340 

The Horn of Egremont Castle . . . . . . 341 

Goody Blake and Harry Gill. A true Story . . . $46 
Prelude, prefixed to the Volume entitled ' ' Poems chiefly of 

Early and Late Years." ..... 351 

To a Child. Written in her Album . . . . . 353 
Lines written in the Album of the Countess of Lonsdale. 

Nov. 5, 1834 354 

Grace Darling 357 

The Russian Fugitive.— Part 1 360 

. Part II 363 

Part III. . . . . 367 

Part IV 370 



Notes .«....••• 375 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 

IN SERIES. 

[My purpose in writing this Series was, as much as possible, to 
confine my view to the introduction, progress, and operation of 
the Church in England, both previous and subsequent to the 
Reformation. The Sonnets were written long before ecclesiastical 
history and points of doctrine had excited the interest with 
which they have been recently enquired into and discussed. 
The former particular is mentioned as an excuse for my having 
fallen into error in respect to an incident which had been 
selected as setting forth the height to which the power of the 
Popedom over temporal sovereignty had attained, and the 
arrogance with which it was displayed. I allude to the last 
Sonnet but one in the first series, where Pope Alexander the 
third at Venice is described as setting his foot on the neck of 
the Emperor Barbarossa. Though this is related as a fact in 
history, I am told it is a mere legend of no authority. Sub- 
stitute for it an undeniable truth not less fitted for my purpose, 
namely the penance inflicted by Gregory the Seventh, upon the 
Emperor Henry the Fourth. 

Before I conclude my notice of these Sonnets, let me observe 
that the opinion I pronounced in favour of Laud (long before 
the Oxford Tract movement) and which had brought censure 
upon me from several quarters, is not in the least changed. 
Omitting here to examine into his conduct in respect to the 
persecuting spirit with which he has been charged, I am 
persuaded that most of his aims to restore ritual practices which 
had been abandoned were good and wise, whatever errors he 
might commit in the manner he sometimes attempted to enforce 
them. I further believe that, had not he, and others who 
shared his opinions and felt as he did, stood up in opposition 
to the reformers of that period, it is questionable whether the 
Church would ever have recovered its lost ground and become 
the blessing it now is, and will, I trust, become in a still 
greater degree, both to those of its communion and to those who 
unfortunately are separated from it.] 

VOL. IV. B 






POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



PART I. 

FROM THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO BRITAIN, TO 
THE CONSUMMATION OP THE PAPAL DOMINION. 

' A verse may catch a wandering Soul, that flies 
Profounder Tracts, and by a blest surprise 
Convert delight into a Sacrifice.' 



INTRODUCTION. 



I, who accompanied with faithful pace 

Cerulean Duddon from his cloud-fed spring, 

And loved with spirit ruled by his to sing 

Of mountain-quiet and boon nature's grace ; 

I, who essayed the nobler Stream to trace 

Of Liberty, and smote the plausive string 

Till the checked torrent, proudly triumphing, 

"Won for herself a lasting resting-place ; 

Now seek upon the heights of Time the source 

Of a Holt River, on whose banks are found 

Sweet pastoral flowers, and laurels that have crowned 

Eull oft the unworthy brow of lawless force ; 

And, for delight of him who tracks its course, 

Immortal amaranth and palms abound. 



ii. 

CONJECTURES. 



Ie there be prophets on whose spirits rest 
Past things, revealed like future, they can tell 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 3 

What Powers, presiding o'er the sacred well 

Of Christian Faith, this savage Island blessed 

With its first bounty. Wandering through the west, 

Did holy Paul* a while in Britain dwell, 

And call the Fountain forth by miracle, 

And with dread signs the nascent Stream invest ? 

Or He, whose bonds dropped off, whose prison doors 

Mew open, by an Angel's voice unbarred ? 

Or some of humbler name, to these wild shores 

Storm-driven ; who, having seen the cup of woe 

Pass from their Master, sojourned here to guard 

The precious Current they had taught to flow ? 



in. 



TREPIDATION OF THE DRUIDS. 



Screams round the Arch-druid's brow the seamew f— 

white 
As Menai's foam ; and toward the mystic ring 
Where Augurs stand, the Future questioning, 
Slowly the cormorant aims her heavy flight, 
Portending ruin to each baleful rite, 
That, in the lapse of ages, hath crept o'er 
Diluvian truths, and patriarchal lore. 
Haughty the Bard : can these meek doctrines blight 

* See Note. 
t This water-fowl was, among the Druids, an emblem of those traditions 
connected with the Deluge that made an important part of their mysteries. 
The Cormorant was a bird of bad omen. 

B 2 



4 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

His transports ? wither his heroic strains ? 

But all shall be fulfilled ; — the Julian spear 

A way first opened ; and, with E-oman chains, 

The tidings come of Jesus crucified ; 

They come — they spread — the weak, the suffering, hear; 

Receive the faith, and in the hope abide. 



IY. 



DRUIDICAL EXCOMMUNICATION. 



Meecy and Love have met thee on thy road, 
Thou wretched Outcast, from the gift of fire 
And food cut off by sacerdotal ire, 
Prom every sympathy that Man bestowed ! 
Tet shall it claim our reverence, that to God, 
Ancient of days ! that to the eternal Sire, 
These jealous Ministers of law aspire, 
As to the one sole fount whence wisdom flowed, 
Justice, and order. Tremblingly escaped, 
As if with prescience of the coming storm, 
That intimation when the stars were shaped ; 
And still, 'mid yon thick woods, the primal truth 
Glimmers through many a superstitious form 
That fills the Soul with unavailing ruth. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 



Y. 



UNCERTAINTY. 



Darkness surrounds us ; seeking, we are lost 
On Snowdon's wilds, amid Brigantian coves, 
Or where the solitary shepherd roves 
Along the plain of Sarum, by the ghost 
Of Time and shadows of Tradition, crost ; 
And where the boatman of the "Western Isles 
Slackens his course — to mark those holy piles 
"Which yet survive on bleak Iona's coast. 
Nor these, nor monuments of eldest name, 
Nor Taliesin's unforgotten lays, 
Nor characters of Greek or Boman fame, 
To an unquestionable Source have led ; 
Enough — if eyes, that sought the fountain-head 
In vain, upon the growing Bill may gaze. 



VI. 



PERSECUTION. 



Lament ! for Diocletian's fiery sword 
Works busy as the lightning ; but instinct 
With malice ne'er to deadliest weapon linked 
Which Grod's ethereal store-houses afford : 



6 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Against the Followers of the incarnate Lord 
It rages ; — some are smitten in the field — 
Some pierced to the heart through the ineffectual shield 
Of sacred home ;— with pomp are others gored 
And dreadful respite. Thus was Alban tried, 
England's first Martyr, whom no threats could shake ; 
Self-offered victim, for his friend he died, 
And for the faith ; nor shall his name forsake 
That Hill, whose flowery platform seems to rise 
By Nature decked for holiest sacrifice *. 



yir. 



RECOVERY. 



As, when a storm hath ceased, the birds regain 

Their cheerfulness, and busily retrim 

Their nests, or chant a gratulating hymn 

To the blue ether and bespangled plain ; 

Even so, in many a re-constructed fane, 

Have the survivors of this Storm renewed 

Their holy rites with vocal gratitude : 

And solemn ceremonials they ordain 

To celebrate their great deliverance ; 

Most feelingly instructed 'mid their fear — 

That persecution, blind with rage extreme, 

May not the less, througli Heaven's mild countenance, 

Even in her own despite, both feed and cheer ; 

Eor all things are less dreadful than they seem. 

• * See Note, 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 



VIII. 



TEMPTATIONS FROM ROMAN REFINEMENTS. 

Watch, and be firm ! for, soul-subduing vice, 

Heart-killing luxury, on your steps await. 

Pair houses, baths, and banquets delicate, 

And temples flashing, bright as polar ice, 

Their radiance through the woods — may yet suffice 

To sap your hardy virtue, and abate 

Tour love of Him upon whose forehead sate 

The crown of thorns; whose life-blood flowed, the price 

Of your redemption. Shun the insidious arts 

That Rome provides, less dreading from her frown 

Than from her wily praise, her peaceful gown, 

Language, and letters ; — these, though fondly viewed 

As humanising graces, are but parts 

And instruments of deadliest servitude ! 



IX. 



DISSENSIONS. 



That heresies should strike (if truth be scanned 
Presumptuously) their roots both wide and deep, 
Is natural as dreams to feverish sleep. 
Lo ! Discord at the altar dares to stand 



8 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Uplifting toward high Heaven her fiery brand, 
A cherished Priestess of the new-baptized ! 
But chastisement shall follow peace despised. 
The Pictish cloud darkens the enervate land 
By Rome abandoned ; vain are suppliant cries, 
And prayers that would undo her forced farewell ; 
Por she returns not. — Awed by her own knell, 
She casts the Britons upon strange Allies 
Soon to become more dreaded enemies 
Than heartless misery called them to repel. 



STRUGGLE OF THE BRITONS AGAINST THE BARBARIANS. 

Rise ! — they have risen : of brave Aneurin ask 

How they have scourged old foes, perfidious friends : 

The Spirit of Caractacus descends 

Upon the Patriots, animates their task ; — 

Amazement runs before the towering casque 

Of Arthur, bearing through the stormy field 

The virgin sculptured on his Christian shield : — 

Stretched in the sunny light of victory bask 

The Host that followed Urien as he strode 

O'er heaps of slain ; — from Cambrian wood and moss 

Druids descend, auxiliars of the Cross ; 

Bards, nursed on blue Plinlimmon's still abode, 

Rush on the fight, to harps preferring swords, 

And everlasting deeds to burning words ! 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 



XI. 

SAXON CONQUEST. 



Nor wants the cause the panic-striking aid 

Of hallelujahs * tost from hill to hill — 

For instant victory. But Heaven's high will 

Permits a second and a darker shade 

Of Pagan night. Afflicted and dismayed, 

The Relics of the sword flee to the mountains : 

O wretched Land ! whose tears have flowed like 

fountains ; 
Whose arts and honours in the dust are laid 
By men yet scarcely conscious of a care 
Por other monuments than those of Earth ; 
Who, as the fields and woods have given them birth, 
Will build their savage fortunes only there ; 
Content, if foss, and barrow, and the girth 
Of long-drawn rampart, witness what they were. 



XII. 
MONASTERY OF OLD BANGOR f. 

The oppression of the tumult — wrath and scom- 
The tribulation — and the gleaming blades — 
Such is the impetuous spirit that pervades 
The song of Taliesin ; — Ours shall mourn 

* See Note. t See Note. 



10 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION, 

The unarmed Host who by their prayers would turn 
The sword from Bangor's walls, and guard the store 
Of Aboriginal and Roman lore, 
And Christian monuments, that now must burn 
To senseless ashes. Mark ! how ail things swerve 
Prom their known course, or vanish like a dream ; 
Another language spreads from coast to coast ; 
Only perchance some melancholy Stream 
And some indignant Hills old names preserve, 
When laws, and creeds, and people all are lost ! 



XIII. 

CASUAL INCITEMENT. 



A beight-haired company of youthful slaves, 
Beautiful strangers, stand within the pale 
Of a sad market, ranged for public sale, 
Where Tiber's stream the immortal City laves : 
Angli by name ; and not an Anoel waves 
His wing who could seem lovelier to man's eye 
Than they appear to holy Gregory ; 
Who, having learnt that name, salvation craves 
For Them, and for their Land. The earnest Sire, 
His questions urging, feels, in slender ties 
Of chiming sound, commanding sympathies ; 
De-irians — he would save them from Grod's Ire ; 
Subjects of Saxon JElla — they shall sing 
Grlad HALLE-lujahs to the eternal King ! 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS, 11 



XIV. 

GLAD TIDINGS. 

For ever hallowed be this morning fair, 

Blest be the unconscious shore on which ye tread, 

And blest the silver Cross, which ye, instead 

Of martial banner, in procession bear ; 

The Cross preceding Him who floats in air, 

The pictured Saviour ! — By Augustin led, 

They come— and onward travel without dread, 

Chanting in barbarous ears a tuneful prayer — 

Sung for themselves, and those whom they would free ! 

Rich conquest waits them : — the tempestuous sea 

Of Ignorance, that ran so rough and high 

And heeded not the voice of clashing swords, 

These good men humble by a few bare words, 

And calm with fear of God's divinity. 



xv. 

PAU LINUS*. 



But, to remote ISTorthumbria's royal Hall, 
Where thoughtful Edwin, tutored in the school 
Of sorrow, still maintains a heathen rule, 
Who comes with functions apostolical ? 



* See Note. 



12 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Mark him, of shoulders curved, and stature tall, 
Black hair, and vivid eye, and meagre cheek, 
His prominent feature like an eagle's beak ; 
A Man whose aspect doth at once appal 
And strike with reverence. The Monarch leans 
Toward the pure truths this Delegate propounds ; 
Repeatedly his own deep mind he sounds 
With careful hesitation, — then convenes 
A synod of his Councillors : — give ear, 
And what a pensive Sage doth utter, hear ! 



XVI. 

PERSUASION. 



" Man's life is like a Sparrow, mighty King ! 

" That — while at banquet with your Chiefs you sit 

" Housed near a blazing fire — is seen to flit 

" Safe from the wintry tempest. Muttering, 

" Here did it enter ; there, on hasty wing, 

" Mies out, and passes on from cold to cold ; 

" But whence it came we know not, nor behold 

" "Whither it goes. Even such, that transient Thing, 

" The human Soul ; not utterly unknown 

" While in the Body lodged, her warm abode ; 

" But from what world She came, what woe or weal 

6i On her departure waits, no tongue hath shown ; 

<w This mystery if the Stranger can reveal, 

" His be a welcome cordially bestowed*!" 

* See Note. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 13 



XTIT. 



CONVERSION. 



Prompt transformation works the novel Lore ; 

The Council closed, the Priest in full career 

Rides forth, an armed man, and hurls a spear 

To desecrate the Pane which heretofore 

He served in folly. Woden falls, and Thor 

Is overturned ; the mace, in battle heaved 

(So might they dream) till victory was achieved, 

Drops, and the Grod himself is seen no more. 

Temple and Altar sink, to hide their shame 

Amid oblivious weeds. ' O come to me, 

Ye heavy laden ! ' such the inviting voice 

Heard near fresh streams*; and thousands, who rejoice 

In the new Rite, the pledge of sanctity, 

Shall, by regenerate life, the promise claim. 



XVIII. 



Nor scorn the aid which Pancy oft doth lend 
The Soul's eternal interests to promote : 
Death, darkness, danger, are our natural lot ; 
And evil Spirits may our walk attend 



* See Note. 



14 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

For aught the wisest know or comprehend ; 
Then be good Spirits free to breathe a note 
Of elevation ; let their odours float 
Around these Converts ; and their glories blend, 
The midnight stars outshining, or the blaze 
Of the noon- day. Nor doubt that golden cords 
Of good works, mingling with the visions, raise 
The Soul to purer worlds : and who the line 
Shall draw, the limits of the power define, 
That even imperfect faith to man affords ? 



XIX. 

PRIMITIVE SAXON CLERGY*, 



How beautiful your presence, how benign, 

Servants of God ! who not a thought will share 

"With the vain world ; who, outwardly as bare 

As winter trees, yield no fallacious sign 

That the firm soul is clothed with fruit divine ! 

Such Priest, when service worthy of his care 

Has called him forth to breathe the common air, 

Might seem a saintly Image from its shrine 

Descended : — happy are the eyes that meet 

The Apparition ; evil thoughts are stayed 

At his approach, and low-bowed necks entreat 

A benediction from his voice or hand ; 

"Whence grace, through which the heart can understand, 

And vows, that bind the will, in silence made. 

* See Note. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 15 



XX. 



OTHER INFLUENCES. 

Ah, when the Body, round which in love we clung, 

Is chilled by death, does mutual service fail ? 

Is tender pity then of no avail ? 

Are intercessions of the fervent tongue 

A waste of hope ? — Prom this sad source have sprung 

Rites that console the Spirit, under grief 

"Which ill can brook more rational relief: 

Hence, prayers are shaped amiss, and dirges sung 

For Souls whose doom is fixed ! The way is smooth 

Por Power that travels with the human heart : 

Confession ministers the pang to soothe 

In him who at the ghost of guilt doth start. 

Te holy Men, so earnest in your care, 

Of your own mighty instruments beware ! 



XXI. 



SECLUSION. 



Lance, shield, and sword relinquished, at his side 
A bead-roll, in his hand a clasped book, 
Or staff more harmless than a shepherd's crook, 
The war-worn Chieftain quits the world — to hide 



16 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

His thin autumnal locks where Monks abide 

In cloistered privacy. But not to dwell 

In soft repose he comes : within his cell, 

Round the decaying trunk of human pride, 

At morn, and eve, and midnight's silent hour,. 

Do penitential cogitations cling ; 

Like ivy, round some ancient elm, they twine 

In grisly folds and strictures serpentine ; 

Yet, while they strangle, a fair growth they bring, 

For recompence — their own perennial bower. 



XXII. 

CONTINUED. 



Me thinks that to some vacant hermitage 
My feet would rather turn — to some dry nook 
Scooped out of living rock, and near a brook 
Hurled down a mountain-cove from stage to stage, 
Yet tempering, for my sight, its bustling rage 
In the soft heaven of a translucent pool ; 
Thence creeping under sylvan arches cool, 
Fit haunt of shapes whose glorious equipage 
"Would elevate my dreams. A beechen bowl, 
A maple dish, my furniture should be ; 
Crisp, yellow leaves my bed ; the hooting howl 
My night-watch : nor should e'er the crested fowl 
From thorp or vill his matins sound for me, 
Tired of the world and all its industry. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 17 



XXIII. 



But what if One, through grove or flowery mead, 

Indulging thus at will the creeping feet 

Of a voluptuous indolence, should meet 

Thy hovering Shade, venerable Bede ! 

The saint, the scholar, from a circle freed 

Of toil stupendous, in a hallowed seat 

Of learning, where thou heard'st the billows beat 

On a wild coast, rough monitors to feed 

Perpetual industry. Sublime Recluse ! 

The recreant soul, that dares to shun the debt 

Imposed on human kind, must first forget 

Thy diligence, thy unrelaxing use 

Of a long life ; and, in the hour of death, 

The last dear service of thy passing breath*! 



XXIV. 
SAXON MONASTERIES, AND LIGHTS AND SHADES OF THE RELIGION. 

By such examples moved to unbought pains, 
The people work like congregated bees ; 
Eager to build the quiet Portresses 
"Where Piety, as they believe, obtains 

* He expired dictating the last words of a translation of St. John's 
Gospel. 

VOL. IV. C 



18 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

From Heaven a general blessing ; timely rains 
Or needful sunshine ; prosperous enterprise, 
Justice and peace : — bold faith ! yet also rise 
The sacred Structures for less doubtful gains. 
The Sensual think with reverence of the palms 
Which the chaste Votaries seek, beyond the grave ; 
If penance be redeemable, thence alms 
Mow to the poor, and freedom to the slave ; 
And if full oft the Sanctuary save 
Lives black with guilt, ferocity it calms. 



xxv. 

MISSIONS AND TRAVELS. 



Not sedentary all : there are who roam 

To scatter seeds of life on barbarous shores ; 

Or quit with zealous step their knee- worn floors 

To seek the general mart of Christendom ; 

Whence they, like richly-laden merchants, come 

To their beloved cells : — or shall we say 

That, like the Red-cross Knight, they urge their way, 

To lead in memorable triumph home 

Truth, their immortal Una ? Babylon, 

Learned and wise, hath perished utterly, 

Isov leaves her Speech one word to aid the sigh 

That would lament her ; — Memphis, Tyre, are gone 

With all their Arts, — but classic lore glides on 

By these Religious saved for all posterity. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 19 



XXVI. 

ALFRED. 



Behold a pupil of the monkish gown, 

The pious Aleeed, King to Justice dear ! 

Lord of the harp and liberating spear ; 

Mirror of Princes ! Indigent Eenown l 

Might range the starry ether for a crown 

Equal to his deserts, who, like the year, 

Pours forth his bounty, like the day doth cheer, 

And awes like night with mercy-tempered frown. 

Ease from this noble miser of his time 

No moment steals ; pain narrows not his cares*. 

Though small his kingdom as a spark or gem, 

Of Alfred boasts remote Jerusalem, 

And Christian India, through her wide-spread clime, 

In sacred converse gifts with Alfred shares. 



XXVII. 

HIS DESCENDANTS. 



When thy great soul was freed from mortal chains, 
Darling of England ! many a bitter shower 
Pell on thy tomb ; but emulative power 
Plowed in thy line through undegenerate veins. 



See Note. 



20 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

The Race of Alfred covet glorious pains 
When dangers threaten, dangers ever new ! 
Black tempests bursting, blacker still in view ! 
But manly sovereignty its hold retains ; 
The root sincere, the branches bold to strive 
"With the fierce tempest, while, within the round 
Of their protection, gentle virtues thrive ; 
As oft, 'mid some green plot of open ground, 
Wide as the oak extends its dewy gloom, 
The fostered hyacinths spread their purple bloom. 



XXVIII. 
INFLUENCE ABUSED. 



Ukged by Ambition, who with subtlest skill 

Changes her means, the Enthusiast as a dupe 

Shall soar, and as a hypocrite can stoop, 

And turn the instruments of good to ill, 

Moulding the credulous people to his will. 

Such Dunstan : — from its Benedictine coop 

Issues the master Mind, at whose fell swoop 

The chaste affections tremble to fulfil 

Their purposes. Behold, pre-signified, 

The Might of spiritual sway ! his thoughts, his dreams, 

Do in the supernatural world abide : 

So vaunt a throng of Followers, filled with pride 

In what they see of virtues pushed to extremes, 

And sorceries of talent misapplied. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 21 



XXIX. 

DANISH CONQUESTS. 



Woe to the Crown that doth the Cowl obey* ! 
Dissension, checking arms that would restrain 
The incessant Rovers of the northern main, 
Helps to restore and spread a Pagan sway : 
But Grospel-truth is potent to allay 
Fierceness and rage ; and soon the cruel Dane 
Feels, through the influence of her gentle reign, 
His native superstitions melt away. 
Thus, often, when thick gloom the east o'ershrouds, 
The full-orbed Moon, slow-climbing, doth appear 
Silently to consume the heavy clouds ; 
Sow no one can resolve ; but every eye 
Around her sees, while air is hushed, a clear 
And widening circuit of ethereal sky. 



xxx. 

CANUTE. 



A pleasant music floats along the Mere, 

From Monks in Ely chanting service high, 

While-as Canute the King is rowing by : 

" My Oarsmen," quoth the mighty King, " draw near, 



* See Note. 



22 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

" That we the sweet song of the Monks may hear !" 
He listens (all past conquests, and all schemes 
Of future, vanishing like empty dreams) 
Heart-touched, and haply not without a tear. 
The Eoyal Minstrel, ere the choir is still, 
"While his free Barge skims the smooth flood along, 
Gives to that rapture an accordant Bhyme*. 
suffering Earth ! be thankful : sternest clime 
And rudest age are subject to the thrill 
Of heaven-descended Piety and Song. 



XXXI. 

THE NORMAN CONQUEST. 



The woman-hearted Confessor prepares 

The evanescence of the Saxon line . 

Hark ! 'tis the tolling Curfew ! — the stars shine ; 

Eut of the lights that cherish household cares 

And festive gladness, burns not one that dares 

To twinkle after that dull stroke of thine, 

Emblem and instrument, from Thames to Tyne, 

Of force that daunts, and cunning that ensnares ! 

Yet as the terrors of the lordly bell, 

That quench, from hut to palace, lamps and fires, 

Touch not the tapers of the sacred quires ; 

Even so a thraldom, studious to expel 

Old laws, and ancient customs to derange, 

To Creed or Ritual brings no fatal change. 

* Which is still extant. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 23 



XXXII. 

Coldly we spake. The Saxons, overpowered 

By wrong triumphant through its own excess, 

From fields laid waste, from house and home devoured 

By flames, look up to heaven and crave redress 

From God's eternal justice. Pitiless 

Though men be, there are angels that can feel 

For wounds that death alone has power to heal, 

For penitent guilt, and innocent distress. 

And has a Champion risen in arms to try 

His Country's virtue, fought, and breathes no more ; 

Him in their hearts the people canonize ; 

And far above the mine's most precious ore 

The least small pittance of bare mould they prize 

Scooped from the sacred earth where his dear relics lie. 



XXXIII. 
THE COUNCIL OF CLEKMONT. 



"And shall," the Pontiff asks, " profaneness flow 

" From Nazareth — source of Christian piety, 

" From Bethlehem, from the Mounts of Agony 

" And glorified Ascension ? Warriors, go, 

" "With prayers and blessings we your path will sow ; 

" Like Moses hold our hands erect, till ye 

" Have chased far off by righteous victory 

" These sons of Amalek, or laid them low ! " — 



24 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

" God willeth it," the whole assembly cry ; 
Shout which the enraptured multitude astounds ! 
The Council-roof and Clermont's towers reply ; — 
" God willeth it," from hill to hill rebounds, 
And, in awe-stricken Countries far and nigh, 
Through ' Nature's hollow arch ' that voice resounds*. 



xxxiv. 



The turbaned Kace are poured in thickening swarms 
Along the west ; though driven from Aquitaine, 
The Crescent glitters on the towers of Spain ; 
And soft Italia feels renewed alarms ; 
The scimitar, that yields not to the charms 
Of ease, the narrow Bosphorus will disdain ; 
Nor long (that crossed) would Grecian hills detain 
Their tents, and check the current of their arms. 
Then blame not those who, by the mightiest lever 
Known to the moral world, Imagination, 
Upheave, so seems it, from her natural station 
All Christendom : — they sweep along (was never 
So huge a host !) — to tear from the Unbeliever 
The precious Tomb, their haven of salvation. 

* The decision of this council was believed to be instantly known in 
remote parts of Europe. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 25 



XXXY. 

KICHARD I. 



Redoubted King, of courage leonine, 
I mark thee, Richard ! urgent to equip 
Thy warlike person with the staff and scrip ; 
I watch thee sailing o'er the midland brine ; 
In conquered Cyprus see thy Bride decline 
Her blushing cheek, love-vows upon her lip, 
And see love-emblems streaming from thy ship, 
As thence she holds her way to Palestine. 
My Song, a fearless homager, would attend 
Thy thundering battle-axe as it cleaves the press 
Of war, but duty summons her away 
To tell — how, finding in the rash distress 
Of those Enthusiasts a subservient friend, 
To giddier heights hath clomb the Papal sway. 



AN INTERDICT. 



Realms quake by turns : proud Arbitress of grace, 
The Church, by mandate shadowing forth the power 
She arrogates o'er heaven's eternal door, 
Closes the gates of every sacred place. 
Straight from the sun and tainted air's embrace 
All sacred things are covered : cheerful morn 
Grows sad as night — no seemly garb is worn, 
Nor is a face allowed to meet a face 



26 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

"With natural smiles of greeting. Bells are dumb ; 
Ditches are graves — funereal rites denied ; 
And in the church-yard he must take his bride 
"Who dares be wedded ! Fancies thickly come 
Into the pensive heart ill fortified, 
And comfortless despairs the soul benumb. 



XXXVII. 

PAPAL ABUSES. 



As with the Stream our voyage we pursue, 
The gross materials of this world present 
A marvellous study of wild accident ; 
Uncouth proximities of old and new ; 
And bold transfigurations, more untrue 
(As might be deemed) to disciplined intent 
Than aught the sky's fantastic element, 
When most fantastic, offers to the view. 
Saw we not Henry scourged at Becket's shrine ? 
Lo ! John self-stripped of his insignia : — crown, 
Sceptre and mantle, sword and ring, laid down 
At a proud Legate's feet ! The spears that line 
Baronial halls, the opprobrious insult feel : 
And angry Ocean roars a vain appeal. 



xxxvm. 

SCENE IN VENICE. 



Black Demons hovering o'er his mitred head, 
To Caesar's Successor the Pontiff spake ; 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 27 

" Ere I absolve thee, stoop ! that on thy neck 

" Levelled with earth this foot of mine may tread." 

Then he, who to the altar had been led, 

He, whose strong arm the Orient could not check, 

He, who had held the Soldan at his beck, 

Stooped, of all glory disinherited, 

And even the common dignity of man ! — 

Amazement strikes the crowd : while many turn 

Their eyes away in sorrow, others burn 

"With scorn, invoking a vindictive ban 

From outraged Nature ; but the sense of most 

In abject sympathy with power is lost. 



xxxix. 

PAPAL DOMINION. 



Unless to Peter's Chair the viewless wind 
Must come and ask permission when to blow, 
What further empire would it have ? for now 
A ghostly Domination, unconfined 
As that by dreaming Bards to Love assigned, 
Sits there in sober truth — to raise the low, 
Perplex the wise, the strong to overthrow ; 
Through earth and heaven to bind and to unbind ! 
[Resist — the thunder quails thee ! — crouch — rebuff 
Shall be thy recompence ! from land to land 
The ancient thrones of Christendom are stuff 
Por occupation of a magic wand, 
And 'tis the Pope that wields it : — whether rough 
Or smooth his front, our world is in his hand ! 



28 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



PART II. 

TO THE CLOSE OP THE TROUBLES IN THE REIGN OP CHARLES I. 
I. 

How soon — alas ! did Man, created pure — 
By Angels guarded, deviate from the line 
Prescribed to duty : — woeful forfeiture 
He made by wilful breach of law divine. 
With like perverseness did the Church abjure 
Obedience to her Lord, and haste to twine, 
'Mid Heaven-born flowers that shall for aye endure, 
Weeds on whose front the world had fixed her sign. 
Man, — if with thy trials thus it fares, 
If good can smooth the way to evil choice, 
From all rash censure be the mind kept free ; 
He only judges right who weighs, compares, 
And, in the sternest sentence which his voice 
Pronounces, ne'er abandons Charity. 



ii. 



Peom false assumption rose, and, fondly hailed 
By superstition, spread the Papal power ; 
Yet do not deem the Autocracy prevailed 
Thus only, even in error's darkest hour. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 29 

She daunts, forth-thundering from her spiritual tower, 
Brute rapine, or with gentle lure she tames. 
Justice and Peace through Her uphold their claims ; 
And Chastity finds many a sheltering bower. 
Realm there is none that if controlled or swayed 
By her commands partakes not, in degree, 
Of good, o'er manners arts and arms, diffused : 
Tes, to thy domination, Roman See, 
Tho' miserably, oft monstrously, abused 
By blind ambition, be this tribute paid. 



in. 

CISTERTIAN MONASTERY. 



" Sure Man more purely lives, less oft doth fall, 
u More promptly rises, walks with stricter heed, 
u More safely rests, dies happier, is freed 
" Earlier from cleansing fires, and gains withal 
u A brighter crown*" — On yon Cistertian wall 
That confident assurance may be read ; 
And, to like shelter, from the world have fled 
Increasing multitudes. The potent call 
Doubtless shall cheat full oft the heart's desires ; 
Tet, while the rugged Age on pliant knee 
Vows to rapt Fancy humble fealty, 
A gentler life spreads round the holy spires ; 
"Where'er they rise, the sylvan waste retires, 
And aery harvests crown the fertile lea. 

* See Note. 



30. POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



IV. 

Deplorable his lot who tills the ground, 

His whole life long tills it, with heartless toil 

Of villain-service, passing with the soil 

To each new Master, like a steer or hound, 

Or like a rooted tree, or stone earth-bound ; 

But mark how gladly, through their own domains, 

The Monks relax or break these iron chains ; 

"While Mercy, uttering, through their voice, a sound 

Echoed in Heaven, cries out, " Ye Chiefs, abate 

These legalized oppressions ! Man — whose name 

And nature Grod disdained not ; Man — whose soul 

Christ died for — cannot forfeit his high claim 

To live and move exempt from all control 

Which fellow-feeling doth not mitigate !" 



MONKS AND SCHOOLMEN. 



E,ecoed we too, with just and faithful pen, 
That many hooded Cenobites there are, 
Who in their private cells have yet a care 
Of public quiet ; unambitious Men, 
Counsellors for the world, of piercing ken ; 
Whose fervent exhortations from afar 
Move Princes to their duty, peace or war ; 
And oft-times in the most forbidding den 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 31 

Of solitude, with love of science strong, 
How patiently the yoke of thought they bear ! 
How subtly glide its finest threads along ! 
Spirits that crowd the intellectual sphere 
"With mazy boundaries, as the astronomer 
"With orb and cycle girds the starry throng. 



VI. 

OTHER BENEFITS. 



And, not in vain embodied to the sight, 
Religion finds even in the stern retreat 
Of feudal sway her own appropriate seat ; 
Prom the collegiate pomps on Windsor's height 
Down to the humbler altar, which the Knight 
And his retainers of the embattled hall 
Seek in domestic oratory small, 
For prayer in stillness, or the chanted rite ; 
Then chiefly dear, when foes are planted round, 
Who teach the intrepid guardians of the place — 
Hourly exposed to death, with famine worn, 
And suffering under many a perilous wound — 
How sad would be their durance, if forlorn 
Of offices dispensing heavenly grace ! 



32 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



VII. 



CONTINUED. 

And what melodious sounds at times prevail ! 
And, ever and anon, how bright a gleam 
Pours on the surface of the turbid Stream ! 
What heartfelt fragrance mingles with the gale 
That swells the bosom of our passing sail ! 
For where, but on this River's margin, blow 
Those flowers of chivalry, to bind the brow 
Of hardihood with wreaths that shall not fail ? — 
Fair Court of Edward ! wonder of the world ! 
I see a matchless blazonry unfurled 
Of wisdom, magnanimity, and love ; 
And meekness tempering honourable pride ; 
The lamb is couching by the lion's side, 
And near the flame-eyed eagle sits the dove. 



VIII. 



CRUSADERS. 



Fuel we the sails, and pass with tardy oars 
Through these bright regions, casting many a glance 
Upon the dream-like issues — the romance 
Of many-coloured life that Fortune pours 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 33 

Round the Crusaders, till on distant shores 

Their labours end ; or they return to lie, 

The vow performed, in cross-legged effigy, 

Devoutly stretched upon their chancel floors. 

Am I deceived ? Or is their requiem chanted 

By voices never mute when Heaven unties 

Her inmost, softest, tenderest harmonies ; 

Requiem which Earth takes up with voice undaunted, 

"When she would tell how Brave, and Good, and "Wise, 

For their high guerdon not in vain have panted ! 



IX. 



As faith thus sanctified the warrior's crest 

While from the Papal Unity there came, 

What feebler means had failed to give, one aim 

Diffused thro' all the regions of the West ; 

So does her Unity its power attest 

By works of Art, that shed, on the outward frame 

Of worship, glory and grace, which who shall blame 

That ever looked to heaven for final rest ? 

Hail countless Temples ! that so well befit 

Your ministry ; that, as ye rise and take 

Porm spirit and character from holy writ, 

Give to devotion, wheresoe'er awake, 

Pinions of high and higher sweep, and make 

The unconverted soul with awe submit. 



34 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



Where long and deeply hath been fixed the root 

In the blest soil of gospel truth, the Tree, 

(Blighted or scathed tho' many branches be, 

Put forth to wither, many a hopeful shoot) 

Can never cease to bear celestial fruit. 

"Witness the Church that oft times, with effect 

Dear to the saints, strives earnestly to eject 

Her bane, her vital energies recruit. 

Lamenting, do not hopelessly repine, 

When such good work is doomed to be undone, 

The conquests lost that were so hardly won : — 

All promises vouchsafed by Heaven will shine 

In light confirmed while years their course shall run, 

Confirmed alike in progress and decline. 



XI. 

TRANSUBSTANTIATION. 



Enough ! for see, with dim association 
The tapers burn ; the odorous incense feeds 
A greedy flame ; the pompous mass proceeds ; 
The Priest bestows the appointed consecration ; 
And, while the Host is raised, its elevation 
An awe and supernatural horror breeds ; 
And all the people bow their heads, like reeds 
To a soft breeze, in lowly adoration. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 35 

This Valdo brooks not. On the banks of Rhone 
He taught, till persecution chased him thence, 
To adore the Invisible, and Him alone. 
Nor are his Followers loth to seek defence, 
Mid woods and wilds, on Nature's craggy throne, 
Prom rites that trample upon soul and sense. 



XII. 



THE VAUDOIS. 



But whence came they who for the Saviour Lord 

Have long borne witness as the Scriptures teach ? — 

Ages ere Valdo raised his voice to preach 

In Gallic ears the unadulterate "Word, 

Their fugitive Progenitors explored 

Subalpine vales, in quest of safe retreats 

Where that pure Church survives, though summer heats 

Open a passage to the Romish sword, 

Par as it dares to follow. Herbs self-sown, 

And fruitage gathered from the chesnut wood, 

Nourish the sufferers then ; and mists, that brood 

O'er chasms with new-fallen obstacles bestrown, 

Protect them ; and the eternal snow that daunts 

Aliens, is God's good winter for their haunts. 



POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION". 



XIII. 



Pbaised be the Eivers, from their mountain springs 
Shouting to Freedom, " Plant thy banners here !" 
To harassed Piety, " Dismiss thy fear, 
And in our caverns smooth thy ruffled wings !" 
Nor be unthanked their final lingerings — 
Silent, but not to high-souled Passion's ear — 
'Mid reedy fens wide-spread and marshes drear, 
Their own creation. Such glad welcomings 
As Po was heard to give where Venice rose 
Hailed from aloft those Heirs of truth divine 
Who near his fountains sought obscure repose, 
Yet came prepared as glorious lights to shine, 
Should that be needed for their sacred Charge ; 
Blest Prisoners They, whose spirits were at large ! 



XIV. 



WALDENSES. 



Those had given earliest notice, as the lark 

Springs from the ground the morn to gratulate ; 

Or rather rose the day to antedate, 

By striking out a solitary spark, 

When all the world with midnight gloom was dark. 

Then followed the Waldensian bands, whom Hate 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 37 

In vain endeavours to exterminate, 
"Whom Obloquy pursues with hideous bark*: 
But they desist not ; — and the sacred fire, 
Rekindled thus, from dens and savage woods 
Moves, handed on with never-ceasing care, 
Through courts, through camps, o'er limitary floods ; 
ISTor lacks this sea-girt Isle a timely share 
Of the new Flame, not suffered to expire. 



xv. 

ARCHBISHOP CHICHELY TO HENRY V. 

" What beast in wilderness or cultured field 
" The lively beauty of the leopard shows ? 
6 What flower in meadow-ground or garden grows 
" That to the towering lily doth not yield ? 
" Let both meet only on thy royal shield ! 
" Go forth, great King ! claim what thy birth bestows; 
" Conquer the Gallic lily which thy foes 
" Dare to usurp ; — thou hast a sword to wield, 
" And Heaven will crown the right." — The mitred Sire 
Thus spake— and lo ! a Meet, for Gaul addrest, 
Ploughs her bold course across the wondering seas ; 
For, sooth to say, ambition, in the breast 
Of youthful heroes, is no sullen fire, 
But one that leaps to meet the fanning breeze. 

* See Note. 



38 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XVI. 



WARS OF YORK AND LANCASTER. 

Thus is the storm abated by the craft 

Of a shrewd Counsellor, eager to protect 

The Church, whose power hath recently been checked, 

Whose monstrous riches threatened. So the shaft 

Of victory mounts high, and blood is quaffed 

In fields that rival Cressy and Poictiers — 

Pride to be washed away by bitter tears ! 

For deep as Hell itself, the avenging draught 

Of civil slaughter. Yet, while temporal power 

Is by these shocks exhausted, spiritual truth 

Maintains the else endangered gift of life ; 

Proceeds from infancy to lusty youth ; 

And, under cover of this woeful strife, 

Gathers unblighted strength from hour to hour. 



XVII. 



Once more the Church is seized with sudden fear, 
And at her call is Wicliffe disinhumed : 
Tea, his dry bones to ashes are consumed 
And flung into the brook that travels near ; 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 39 

Forthwith, that ancient Voice which Streams can hear 
Thus speaks (that Voice which walks upon the wind, 
Though seldom heard by busy human kind) — 
" As thou these ashes, little Brook ! wilt bear 
" Into the Avon, Avon to the tide 
" Of Severn, Severn to the narrow seas, 
" Into main Ocean they, this deed accurst 
" An emblem yields to friends and enemies 
" How the bold Teacher's Doctrine, sanctified 
"By truth, shall spread, throughout the world dis- 
persed." 



XVIII. 
CORRUPTIONS OF THE HICxHER CLERGY. 

" Woe to you, Prelates ! rioting in ease 

" And cumbrous wealth — the shame of your estate ; 

" Tou, on whose progress dazzling trains await 

" Of pompous horses ; whom vain titles please ; 

" Who will be served by others on their knees, 

" Yet will yourselves to God no service pay ; 

" Pastors who neither take nor point the way 

" To Heaven ; for, either lost in vanities 

" Te have no skill to teach, or if ye know 

" And speak the word " Alas ! of fearful things 

'Tis the most fearful when the people's eye 
Abuse hath cleared from vain imaginings ; 
And taught the general voice to prophesy 
Of Justice armed, and Pride to be laid low. 



40 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XIX. 



ABUSE OF MONASTIC POWER. 



And what is Penance with her knotted thong ; 

Mortification with the shirt of hair, 

"Wan cheek, and knees indurated with prayer, 

Vigils, and fastings rigorous as long ; 

If cloistered Avarice scruple not to wrong 

The pious, humble, useful Secular, 

And rob the people of his daily care, 

Scorning that world whose blindness makes her strong? 

Inversion strange ! that, unto One who lives 

For self, and struggles with himself alone, 

The amplest share of heavenly favour gives ; 

That to a Monk allots, both in the esteem 

Of Grod and man, place higher than to him 

"Who on the good of others builds his own ! 



xx. 

MONASTIC VOLUPTUOUSNESS. 



Yet more, — round many a Convent's blazing fire 
Unhallowed threads of revelry are spun ; 
There Venus sits disguised like a Nun, — 
While Bacchus, clothed in semblance of a Friar, 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 41 

Pours out his choicest beverage high and higher 

Sparkling, until it cannot choose but run 

Over the bowl, whose silver lip hath won 

An instant kiss of masterful desire — 

To stay the precious waste. Through every brain 

The domination of the sprightly juice 

Spreads high conceits to madding Fancy dear, 

Till the arched roof, with resolute abuse 

Of its grave echoes, swells a choral strain, 

"Whose votive burthen is — " Our kingdom's here ! " 



xxr. 



DISSOLUTION OF THE MONASTERIES. 

Threats come which no submission may assuage, 

No sacrifice avert, no power dispute ; 

The tapers shall be quenched, the belfries mute, 

And, 'mid their choirs unroofed by selfish rage, 

The warbling wren shall find a leafy cage ; 

The gadding bramble hang her purple fruit ; 

And the green lizard and the gilded newt 

Lead unmolested lives, and die of age. 

The owl of evening and the woodland fox 

For their abode the shrines of Waltham choose : 

Proud Glastonbury can no more refuse 

To stoop her head before these desperate shocks — 

She whose high pomp displaced, as story tells, 

Arimathean Joseph's wattled cells. 



42 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXII. 
THE SAME SUBJECT. 

The lovely Nun (submissive, but more meek 

Through saintly habit than from effort due 

To unrelenting mandates that pursue 

"With equal wrath the steps of strong and weak) 

Groes forth — unveiling timidly a cheek 

Suffused with blushes of celestial hue, 

While through the Convent's gate to open view 

Softly she glides, another home to seek. 

Not Iris, issuing from her cloudy shrine, 

An Apparition more divinely bright ! 

Not more attractive to the dazzled sight 

Those watery glories, on the stormy brine 

Poured forth, while summer suns at distance shine, 

And the green vales lie hushed in sober light ! 



XXIII. 



CONTINUED. 



Yet many a Novice of the cloistral shade, 
And many chained by vows, with eager glee 
The warrant hail, exulting to be free ; 
Like ships before whose keels, full long embayed 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 43 

Tn polar ice, propitious winds have made 

Unlooked-for outlet to an open sea, 

Their liquid world, for bold discovery, 

In all her quarters temptingly displayed ! 

Hope guides the young ; but when the old must pass 

The threshold, whither shall they turn to find 

The hospitality — the alms (alas ! 

Alms may be needed) which that House bestowed ? 

Can they, in faith and worship, train the mind 

To keep this new and questionable road ? 



XXIV. 



Ye, too, must fly before a chasing hand, 

Angels and Saints, in every hamlet mourned ! 

Ah ! if the old idolatry be spurned, 

Let not your radiant Shapes desert the Land : 

Her adoration was not your demand, 

The fond heart proffered it — the servile heart ; 

And therefore are ye summoned to depart, 

Michael, and thou, St. George, whose flaming brand 

The Dragon quelled ; and valiant Margaret 

"Whose rival sword a like Opponent slew : 

And rapt Cecilia seraph-haunted Queen 

Of harmony ; and weeping Magdalene, 

"Who in the penitential desert met 

Gales sweet as those that over Eden blew ! 



U POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXV. 

THE VIRGIN. 

Mother ! whose virgin bosom was uncrost 
With the least shade of thought to sin allied ; 
"Woman ! above all women glorified, 
Our tainted nature's solitary boast ; 
Purer than foam on central ocean tost ; 
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn 
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon 
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast ; 
Thy Image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween, 
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend, 
As to a visible Power, in which did blend 
All that was mixed and reconciled in Thee 
Of mother's love with maiden purity, 
Of high with low, celestial with terrene ! 



XXVI. 



Not utterly unworthy to endure 
Was the supremacy of crafty Rome ; 
Age after age to the arch of Christendom 
Aerial keystone haughtily secure ; 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 45 

Supremacy from Heaven transmitted pure, 

As many hold ; and, therefore, to the tomb 

Pass, some through fire — and by the scaffold some — 

Like saintly .Fisher, and unbending More. 

6 Lightly for both the bosom's lord did sit 

* Upon his throne ; ' unsoftened, undismayed 

Ey aught that mingled with the tragic scene 

Of pity or fear ; and More's gay genius played 

"With the inoffensive sword of native wit, 

Than the bare axe more luminous and keen. 



IMAGINATIVE KEGRETS. 



Deep is the lamentation ! Not alone 
Prom Sages justly honoured by mankind ; 
But from the ghostly tenants of the wind, 
Demons and Spirits, many a dolorous groan 
Issues for that dominion overthrown : 
Proud Tiber grieves, and far-off Granges, blind 
As his own worshippers : and Mle, reclined 
Upon his monstrous urn, the farewell moan 
Renews. Through every forest, cave, and den, 
"Where frauds were hatched of old, hath sorrow past- 
Hangs o'er the Arabian Prophet's native "Waste, 
Where once his airy helpers schemed and planned 
Mid spectral lakes bemocking thirsty men, 
And stalking pillars built of fiery sand. 



46 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXVIII. 

REFLECTIONS. 

G-eant, that by this unsparing hurricane 
Green leaves with yellow mixed are torn away, 
And goodly fruitage with the mother spray ; 
'Twere madness — wished we, therefore, to detain, 
"With hands stretched forth in mollified disdain, 
The ' trumpery ' that ascends in bare display — 
Bulls, pardons, relics, cowls black, white, and grey- 
Up whirled, and flying o'er the ethereal plain 
Fast bound for Limbo Lake. And yet not choice 
But habit rules the unreflecting herd, 
And airy bonds are hardest to disown ; 
Hence, with the spiritual sovereignty transferred 
Unto itself, the Crown assumes a voice 
Of reckless mastery, hitherto unknown. 



XXIX. 



TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE. 



But, to outweigh all harm, the sacred Book, 

In dusty sequestration wrapt too long, 

Assumes the accents of our native tongue ; 

And he who guides the plough, or wields the crook, 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 47 

With understanding spirit now may look 

Upon her records, listen to her song, 

And sift her laws — much wondering that the wrong, 

"Which Faith has suffered, Heaven could calmly brook. 

Transcendent boon ! noblest that earthly King 

Ever bestowed to equalize and bless 

Under the weight of mortal wretchedness ! 

But passions spread like plagues, and thousands wild 

With bigotry shall tread the Offering 

Beneath their feet, detested and denied. 



xxx. 



THE POINT AT ISSUE. 



For what contend the wise ? — for nothing less 

Than that the Soul, freed from the bonds of Sense 3 

And to her Grod restored by evidence 

Of things not seen, drawn forth from their recess, 

Eoot there, and not in forms, her holiness ;— 

For Faith, which to the Patriarchs did dispense 

Sure guidance, ere a ceremonial fence 

Was needful round men thirsting to transgress ; — - 

For Faith, more perfect still, with which the Lord 

Of all, himself a Spirit, in the youth 

Of Christian aspiration, deigned to fill 

The temples of their hearts who, with his word 

Informed, were resolute to do his will, 

And worship him in spirit and in truth. 



48 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXXI. 

EDWARD VI. 

c Sweet is the holiness of Youth ' — so felt 

Time-honoured Chaucer speaking through that Lay 

By which the Prioress beguiled the way, 

And many a Pilgrim's rugged heart did melt. 

Hadst thou, loved Bard ! whose spirit often dwelt 

In the clear land of vision, but foreseen 

King, child, and seraph, blended in the mien 

Of pious Edward kneeling as he knelt 

In meek and simple infancy, what joy 

For universal Christendom had thrilled 

Thy heart ! what hopes inspired thy genius, skilled 

(0 great Precursor, genuine morning Star) 

The lucid shafts of reason to employ, 

Piercing the Papal darkness from afar ! 



XXXII. 

EDWARD SIGNING THE WARRANT FOR THE EXECUTION OF JOAN 
OP KENT. 

The tears of man in various measure gush 
Prom various sources ; gently overflow 
Prom blissful transport some — from clefts of woe 
Some with ungovernable impulse rush ; 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 49 

And some, coeval with the earliest blush 

Of infant passion, scarcely dare to show 

Their pearly lustre — coming but to go ; 

And some break forth when others' sorrows crush 

The sympathising heart. Nor these, nor yet 

The noblest drops to admiration known, 

To gratitude, to injuries forgiven — 

Claim Heaven's regard like waters that have wet 

The innocent eyes of youthful Monarchs driven 

To pen the mandates, nature doth disown. 



XXXIII. 



REVIVAL OF TOPERY. 



The saintly Youth has ceased to rule, discrowned 

By unrelenting Death. O People keen 

For change, to whom the new looks always green ! 

Rejoicing did they cast upon the ground 

Their Gods of wood and stone ; and, at the sound 

Of counter-proclamation, now are seen, 

(Proud triumph is it for a sullen Queen !) 

Lifting them up, the worship to confound 

Of the Most High. Again do they invoke 

The Creature, to the Creature glory give ; 

Again with frankincense the altars smoke 

Like those the Heathen served ; and mass is sung ; 

And prayer, man's rational prerogative, 

Runs through blind channels of an unknown tongue. 



50 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXXIV. 

LATIMER AND RIDLEY. 

How fast the Marian death-list is unrolled ! 

See Latimer and Ridley in the might 

Of Faith stand coupled for a common night ! 

One (like those prophets whom God sent of old) 

Transfigured*, from this kindling hath foretold 

A torch of inextinguishable light ; 

The Other gains a confidence as bold ; 

And thus they foil their enemy's despite. 

The penal instruments, the shows of crime, 

Are glorified while this once-mitred pair 

Of saintly Friends the 6 murtherer's chain partake, 

Corded, and burning at the social stake : ' 

Earth never witnessed object more sublime 

In constancy, in fellowship more fair ! 



XXXV. 
CRANMER. 



Outsteetching- flame-ward his upbraided hand 
(0 God of mercy, may no earthly Seat 
Of judgment such presumptuous doom repeat !) 
Amid the slmddering throng doth Cranmer stand ; 



* See Note. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 51 

Firm as the stake to which with iron band 

His frame is tied ; firm from the naked feet 

To the bare head. The victory is complete ; 

The shrouded Body to the Soul's command 

Answers with more than Indian fortitude, 

Through all her nerves with finer sense endued, 

Till breath departs in blissful aspiration : 

Then, 'mid the ghastly ruins of the fire, 

Behold the unalterable heart entire, 

Emblem of faith untouched, miraculous attestation ! * 



xxxvi. 

GENERAL VIEW OP THE TROUBLES OF THE REFORMATION. 

Aid, glorious Martyrs, from your fields of light, 

Our mortal ken ! Inspire a perfect trust 

(While we look round) that Heaven's decrees are just: 

Which few can hold committed to a fight 

That shows, ev'n on its better side, the might 

Of proud Self-will, Rapacity, and Lust, 

'Mid clouds enveloped of polemic dust, 

Which showers of blood seem rather to incite 

Than to allay. Anathemas are hurled 

Prom both sides ; veteran thunders (the brute test 

Of truth) are met by fulminations new — 

Tartarean flags are caught at, and unfurled — 

Friends strike at friends — the flying shall pursue — 

And Yictory sickens, ignorant where to rest ! 

* For the belief in this fact, see the contemporary Historians. 

E 2 



52 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXXVII. 

ENGLISH REFORMERS IN EXILE. 

Scattering, like birds escaped the fowler's net. 

Some seek with timely flight a foreign strand ; 

Most happy, re-assembled in a land 

By dauntless Luther freed, could they forget 

Their Country's woes. Eut scarcely have they met, 

Partners in faith, and brothers in distress, 

Free to pour forth their common thankfulness, 

Ere hope declines : — their union is beset 

With speculative notions rashly sown, 

Whence thickly-sprouting growth of poisonous weeds ; 

Their forms are broken staves ; their passions, steeds 

That master them. How enviably blest 

Is he who can, by help of grace, enthrone 

The peace of God within his single breast ! 



XXXVIII. 



Hail, Virgin Queen ! o'er many an envious bar 
Triumphant, snatched from many a treacherous wile ! 
All hail, sage Lady, whom a grateful Isle 
Hath blest, respiring from that dismal war 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 53 

Stilled by thy voice ! But quickly from afar 

Defiance breathes with more malignant aim ; 

And alien storms with home-bred ferments claim 

Portentous fellowship. Her silver car, 

By sleepless prudence ruled, glides slowly on ; 

Unhurt by violence, from menaced taint 

Emerging pure, and seemingly more bright : 

Ah ! wherefore yields it to a foul constraint 

Black as the clouds its beams dispersed, while shone, 

By men and angels blest, the glorious light ? 



XXXIX. 

EMINENT REFORMERS. 



Methinks that I could trip o'er heaviest soil, 
Light as a buoyant bark from wave to wave, 
Were mine the trusty staff that Jewel gave 
To youthful Hooker, in familiar style 
The gift exalting, and with playful smile * : 
For thus equipped, and bearing on his head 
The Donor's farewell blessing, can he dread 
Tempest, or length of way, or weight of toil ? — 
More sweet than odours caught by him who sails 
Near spicy shores of Araby the blest, 
A thousand times more exquisitely sweet, 
The freight of holy feeling which we meet, 
In thoughtful moments, wafted by the gales 
Erom fields where good men walk, or bowers wherein 
they rest. 

* See Note. 



54 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XL. 



THE SAME. 

Holt and heavenly Spirits as they are, 

Spotless in life, and eloquent as wise, 

With what entire affection do they prize 

Their Church reformed ! labouring with earnest care 

To baffle all that may her strength impair ; 

That Church, the unperverted Gospel's seat ; 

In their afflictions a divine retreat ; 

Source of their liveliest hope, and tenderest prayer !— 

The truth exploring with an equal mind, 

In doctrine and communion they have sought 

Eirmly between the two extremes to steer ; 

But theirs the wise man's ordinary lot — 

To trace right courses for the stubborn blind, 

And prophesy to ears that will not hear. 



XLI. 



DISTRACTIONS. 



Men, who have ceased to reverence, soon defy, 
Their forefathers ; lo ! sects are formed, an<l split 
With morbid restlessness ; — the ecstatic fit 
Spreads wide ; though special mysteries multiply, 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 55 

The Saints must govern, is their common cry ; 
And so they labour, deeming Holy Writ 
Disgraced by aught that seems content to sit 
Eeneath the roof of settled Modesty. 
The Eomanist exults ; fresh hope he draws 
From the confusion, craftily incites 
The overweening, personates the mad — 
To heap disgust upon the worthier Cause : 
Totters the Throne ; the new-born Church is sad, 
For every wave against her peace unites. 



XLII. 



GUNPOWDER PLOT. 



Fear hath a hundred eyes that all agree 

To plague her beating heart ; and there is one 

(JNor idlest that !) which holds communion 

"With things that were not, yet were meant to be. 

Aghast within its gloomy cavity 

That eye (which sees as if fulfilled and done 

Crimes that might stop the motion of the sun ) 

Beholds the horrible catastrophe 

Of an assembled Senate unredeemed 

From subterraneous Treason's darkling power : 

Merciless act of sorrow infinite ! 

Worse than the product of that dismal night, 

When gushing, copious as a thunder-shower, 

The blood of Huguenots through Paris streamed. 



56 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XLITI. 

ILLUSTRATION. 
THE JUNG-FRAU AND THE PALL OF THE RHINE NEAR SCHAFFHAUSEN. 

The Virgin Mountain^, wearing like a Queen 

A brilliant crown of everlasting snow, 

Sheds ruin from her sides ; and men below 

"Wonder that aught of aspect so serene 

Can link with desolation. Smooth and green, 

And seeming, at a little distance, slow, 

The waters of the Rhine ; but on they go 

Fretting and whitening, keener and more keen ; 

Till madness seizes on the whole wide Flood, 

Turned to a fearful Thing whose nostrils breathe 

Blasts of tempestuous smoke — wherewith he tries 

To hide himself, but only magnifies ; 

And doth in more conspicuous torment writhe, 

Deafening the region in his ireful mood. 



XLIY. 
TROUBLES OF CHARLES THE FIRST. 



Even such the contrast that, where'er we move, 
To the mind's eye Religion doth present ; 
Now with her own deep quietness content ; 
Then, like the mountain, thundering from above 



The Jung-frau. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. Oi 

Against the ancient pine-trees of the grove 

And the Land's humblest comforts. Now her mood 

Recals the transformation of the flood, 

Whose rage the gentle skies in vain reprove, 

Earth cannot check. terrible excess 

Of headstrong will ! Can this be Piety ? 

No — some fierce Maniac hath usurped her name ; 

And scourges England struggling to be free : 

Her peace destroyed ! her hopes a wilderness ! 

Her blessings cursed — her glory turned to shame ! 



XLV. 

laud *. 

Pee judged by foes determined not to spare, 

An old weak Man for vengeance thrown aside, 

Laud, e in the painful art of dying ' tried, 

(Like a poor bird entangled in a snare 

Whose heart still nutters, though his wings forbear 

To stir in useless struggle) hath relied 

On hope that conscious innocence supplied, 

And in his prison breathes celestial air. 

Why tarries then thy chariot ? Wherefore stay, 

Death ! the ensanguined yet triumphant wheels, 

Which thou prepar'st, full often, to convey 

(What time a State with madding faction reels) 

The Saint or Patriot to the world that heals 

All wounds, all perturbations doth allay ? 

* See Note. 



58 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XLYI. 



AFFLICTIONS OF ENGLAND. 



Habp ! could' st thou venture, on thy boldest string, 

The faintest note to echo which the blast 

Caught from the hand of Moses as it passed 

O'er Sinai's top, or from the Shepherd-king, 

Early awake, by Siloa's brook, to sing 

Of dread Jehovah ; then, should wood and waste 

Hear also of that name, and mercy cast 

Off to the mountains, like a covering 

Of which the Lord was weary. "Weep, oh ! weep, 

"Weep with the good, beholding King and Priest 

Despised by that stern Grod to whom they raise 

Their suppliant hands ; but holy is the feast 

He keepeth ; like the firmament his ways : 

His statutes like the chambers of the deep. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 59 



PAKT III. 

FKOM THE RESTORATION TO THE PRESENT TIMES. 

[When I came to this part of the series I had the dream described 
in this Sonnet. The figure was that of my daughter, and the 
whole passed exactly as here represented. The Sonnet was 
composed on the middle road leading from Grasmere to 
Ambleside : it was begun as I left the last house of the vale, 
and finished, word for word as it now stands, before I came in 
view of Kydal. I wish I could say the same of the five or six 
hundred I have written : most of them were frequently re- 
touched in the course of composition, and, not a few, laboriously. 
I have only further to observe that the intended Church 
which prompted these Sonnets was erected on Coleorton Moor 
towards the centre of a very populous parish between three and 
four miles from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, on the road to Loughborough, 
and has proved, I believe, a great benefit to the neighbour- 
hood.] 



I saw the figure of a lovely Maid 

Seated alone beneath a darksome tree, 

"Whose fondly-overhanging canopy 

Set off her brightness with a pleasing shade. 

No Spirit was she ; that my heart betrayed, 

For she was one I loved exceedingly ; 

But while I gazed in tender reverie 

(Or was it sleep that with my Fancy played ?) 

The bright corporeal presence — form and face — 

Eemaining still distinct grew thin and rare, 

Like sunny mist ; — at length the golden hair, 

Shape, limbs, and heavenly features, keeping pace 

Each with the other in a lingering race 

Of dissolution, melted into air. 



60 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

II. 
PATRIOTIC SYMPATHIES. 

Last night, without a voice, that Vision spake 

Fear to my Soul, and sadness which might seem 

Wholly dissevered from our present theme ; 

Yet, my beloved Country ! I partake 

Of kindred agitations for thy sake ; 

Thou, too, dost visit oft my midnight dream ; 

Thy glory meets me with the earliest beam 

Of light, which tells that Morning is awake. 

If aught impair thy beauty or destroy, 

Or but forebode destruction, I deplore 

With filial love the sad vicissitude ; 

If thou hast fallen, and righteous Heaven restore 

The prostrate, then my spring-time is renewed, 

And sorrow bartered for exceeding joy. 



CHARLES THE SECOND. 



Who comes — with rapture greeted, and caressed 
With frantic love — his kingdom to regain ? 
Him Virtue's Nurse, Adversity, in vain 
Received, and fostered in her iron breast : 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 61 

For all she taught of hardiest and of best, 

Or would have taught, by discipline of pain 

And long privation, now dissolves amain, 

Or is remembered only to give zest 

To wantonness. — Away, Circean revels ! 

Eut for what gain ? if England soon must sink 

Into a gulf which all distinction levels — 

That bigotry may swallow the good name, 

And, with that draught, the life-blood : misery, shame, 

By Poets loathed ; from which Historians shrink ! 



IV. 



LATITUDINARIANISM. 



Yet Truth is keenly sought for, and the wind 
Charged with rich words poured out in thought's 

defence ; 
"Whether the Church inspire that eloquence, 
Or a Platonic Piety confined 
To the sole temple of the inward mind ; 
And One there is who builds immortal lays, 
Though doomed to tread in solitary ways, 
Darkness before and danger's voice behind ; 
Tet not alone, nor helpless to repel 
Sad thoughts ; for from above the starry sphere 
Come secrets, whispered nightly to his ear ; 
And the pure spirit of celestial light 
Shines through his soul — ' that he may see and tell 
Of things invisible to mortal sight.' 



62 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



WALTON S BOOK OF LIVES. 



Theee are no colours in the fairest sky 

So fair as these. The feather, whence the pen 

"Was shaped that traced the lives of these good men, 

Dropped from an Angel's wing. "With moistened eye 

"We read of faith and purest charity 

In Statesman, Priest, and humble Citizen : 

O could we copy their mild virtues, then 

"What joy to live, what blessedness to die ! 

Methinks their very names shine still and bright ; 

Apart — like glow-worms on a summer night ; 

Or lonely tapers when from far they fling 

A guiding ray ; or seen — like stars on high, 

Satellites burning in a lucid ring 

Around meek Walton's heavenly memory. 



VI. 



CLERICAL INTEGRITY. 



Nor shall the eternal roll of praise reject 
Those Unconforming ; whom one rigorous day 
Drives from their Cures, a voluntary prey 
To poverty, and grief, and disrespect, 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 63 

And some to want — as if by tempests wrecked 
On a wild coast ; how destitute ! did They 
'Feel not that Conscience never can betray, 
That peace of mind is Virtue's sure effect. 
Their altars they forego, their homes they quit, 
Eields which they love, and paths they daily trod, 
And cast the future upon Providence ; 
As men the dictate of whose inward sense 
Outweighs the world ; whom self- deceiving wit 
Lures not from what they deem the cause of God. 



VII. 



PERSECUTION OP THE SCOTTISH COVENANTERS. 

When Alpine Vales threw forth a suppliant cry, 

The majesty of England interposed 

And the sword stopped ; the bleeding wounds were 

closed ; 
And Faith preserved her ancient purity. 
How little boots that precedent of good, 
Scorned or forgotten, Thou canst testify, 
For England's shame, O Sister Realm ! from wood, 
Mountain, and moor, and crowded street, where lie 
The headless martyrs of the Covenant, 
Slain by Compatriot-protestants that draw 
Erom councils senseless as intolerant 
Their warrant. Bodies fall by wild sword-law ; 
But who would force the Soul, tilts with a straw 
Against a Champion cased in adamant. 



64 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION". 

VIII. 

ACQUITTAL OF THE BISHOPS. 

A voice, from long-expecting thousands sent, 

Shatters the air, and troubles tower and spire ; 

For Justice hath absolved the innocent, 

And Tyranny is balked of her desire : 

Up, down, the busy Thames — rapid as fire 

Coursing a train of gunpowder — it went, 

And transport finds in every street a vent, 

Till the whole City rings like one vast quire. 

The Fathers urge the People to be still, 

With outstretched hands and earnest speech — in vain! 

Tea, many, haply wont to entertain 

Small reverence for the mitre's offices, 

And to Religion's self no friendly will, 

A Prelate's blessing ask on bended knees. 



IX. 



WILLIAM THE THIRD. 



Calm as an under-current, strong to draw 
Millions of waves into itself, and run, 
Prom sea to sea, impervious to the sun 
And ploughing storm, the spirit of Nassau 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 65 

Swerves not, (how blest if by religious awe 

Swayed, and thereby enabled to contend 

With the wide world's commotions) from its end 

Swerves not — diverted by a casual law. 

Had mortal action e'er a nobler scope ? 

The Hero comes to liberate, not defy ; 

And, while he marches on with stedfast hope, 

Conqueror beloved ! expected anxiously ! 

The vacillating Bondman of the Pope 

Shrinks from the verdict of his stedfast eye. 



OBLIGATIONS OF CIVIL TO RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. 

Ungeateeul Country, if thou e'er forget 

The sons who for thy civil rights have bled ! 

How, like a Roman, Sidney bowed his head, 

And E/Ussel's miJder blood the scaffold wet ; 

But these had fallen for profitless regret 

Had not thy holy Church her champions bred, 

And claims from other w r orlds inspirited 

The star of Liberty to rise. Nor yet 

(Grave this within thy heart !) if spiritual things 

Be lost, through apathy, or scorn, or fear, 

Shalt thou thy humbler franchises support, 

However hardly won or justly dear: 

"What came from heaven to heaven by nature clings, 

And, if dissevered thence, its course is short. 



66 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XT. 

SACHEVEREL. 

A sudden conflict rises from the swell 

Of a proud slavery met by tenets strained 

In Liberty's behalf. Pears, true or feigned, 

Spread through all ranks ; and lo ! the Sentinel 

"Who loudest rang his pulpit 'larum bell, 

Stands at the Bar, absolved by female eyes 

Mingling their glances with grave flatteries 

Lavished on Sim — that England may rebel 

Against her ancient virtue. High and Low, 

"Watch -words of Party, on all tongues are rife ; 

As if a Church, though sprung from heaven, must owe 

To opposites and fierce extremes her life,— 

Not to the golden mean, and quiet flow 

Of truths that soften hatred, temper strife. 



XII. 



Down a swift Stream, thus far, a bold design 
Have we pursued, with livelier stir of heart 
Than his who sees, borne forward by the Rhine, 
The living landscapes greet him, and depart ; 
Sees spires fast sinking — up again to start ! 
And strives the towers to number, that recline 
O'er the dark steeps, or on the horizon line 
Striding with shattered crests his eye athwart. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 

So have we hurried on with troubled pleasure : 
Henceforth, as on the bosom of a stream 
That slackens, and spreads wide a watery gleam, 
We, nothing loth a lingering course to measure, 
May gather up our thoughts, and mark at leisure 
How widely spread the interests of our theme. 



XIII. 

ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA. 

I. — THE PILGRIM FATHERS. 

"Well worthy to be magnified are they 
Who, with sad hearts, of friends and country took 
A last farewell, their loved abodes forsook, 
And hallowed ground in which their fathers lay ; 
Then to the new-found World explored their way, 
That so a Church, unforced, uncalled to brook 
Ritual restraints, within some sheltering nook 
Her Lord might worship and his word obey 
In freedom. Men they were who could not bend ; 
Blest Pilgrims, surely, as they took for guide 
A will by sovereign Conscience sanctified ; 
Elest while their Spirits from the woods ascend 
Along a Galaxy that knows no end, 
But in His glory who for Sinners died. 



POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



II. CONTINUED. 



From Bite and Ordinance abused they fled 
To Wilds where both were utterly unknown ; 
But not to them had Providence foreshown 
What benefits are missed, what evils bred, 
In worship neither raised nor limited 
Save by Self-will. Lo ! from that distant shore, 
For Bite and Ordinance, Piety is led 
Back to the Land those Pilgrims left of yore, 
Led by her own free choice, So Truth and Love 
By Conscience governed do their steps retrace. — 
Fathers ! your Virtues, such the power of grace, 
Their spirit, in your Children, thus approve. 
Transcendent over time, unbound by place, 
Concord and Charity in circles move. 



xv. 



Ill CONCLUDED. AMERICAN EPISCOPACY. 

Patriots informed with Apostolic light 

Were they, who, when their Country had been freed, 

Bowing with reverence to the ancient creed, 

Fixed on the frame of England's Church their sight, 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. (59 

And strove in filial love to reunite 

"What force had severed. Thence they fetched the seed 

Of Christian unity, and won a meed 

Of praise from Heaven. To Thee, saintly White, 

Patriarch of a wide-spreading family, 

Remotest lands and unborn times shall turn, 

Whether they would restore or build — to Thee, 

As one who rightly taught how zeal should burn, 

As one who drew from out Faith's holiest urn 

The purest stream of patient Energy. 



XVI. 



Bishops and Priests, blessed are ye, if deep 

(As yours above all offices is high) 

Deep in your hearts the sense of duty lie ; 

Charged as ye are by Christ to feed and keep 

Prom wolves your portion of his chosen sheep : 

Labouring as ever in your Master's sight, 

Making your hardest task your best delight, 

What perfect glory ye in Heaven shall reap ! — 

But, in the solemn Office which ye sought 

And undertook premonished, if unsound 

Tour practice prove, faithless though but in thought, 

Bishops and Priests, think what a gulf profound 

Awaits you then, if they were rightly taught 

Who framed the Ordinance by your lives disowned ! 



70 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XYII. 
PLACES OF WORSHIP. 

As star that shines dependent upon star 

Is to the sky while we look up and love ; 

As to the deep fair ships which though they move 

Seem fixed, to eyes that watch them from afar ; 

As to the sandy desert fountains are, 

"With palm-groves shaded at wide intervals, 

"Whose fruit around the sun-burnt Native falls 

Of roving tired or desultory war — 

Such to this British Isle her christian Fanes, 

Each linked to each for kindred services ; 

Her Spires, her Steeple-towers with glittering vanes 

Far-kenned, her Chapels lurking among trees, 

Where a few villagers on bended knees 

Find solace which a busy world disdains. 



XVIII. 



PASTORAL CHARACTER. 



A genial hearth, a hospitable board, 

And a refined rusticity, belong 

To the neat mansion, where, his flock among, 

The learned Pastor dwells, their watchful Lord. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 71 

Though meek and patient as a sheathed sword ; 
Though pride's least lurking thought appear a wrong 
To human kind ; though peace be on his tongue, 
Gentleness in his heart — can earth afford 
Such genuine state, pre-eminence so free, 
As when, arrayed in Christ's authority, 
He from the pulpit lifts his awful hand ; 
Conjures, implores, and labours all he can 
For re-subjecting to divine command 
The stubborn spirit of rebellious man ? 



XIX. 



THE LITURGY. 



Yes, if the intensities of hope and fear 
Attract us still, and passionate exercise 
Of lofty thoughts, the way before us lies 
Distinct with signs, through which in set career, 
As through a zodiac, moves the ritual year 
Of England's Church ; stupendous mysteries ! 
"Which whoso travels in her bosom eyes, 
As he approaches them, with solemn cheer. 
Upon that circle traced from sacred story 
We only dare to cast a transient glance, 
Trusting in hope that Others may advance 
With mind intent upon the King of Grlory, 
From his mild advent till his countenance 
Shall dissipate the seas and mountains hoary. 



POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION, 



XX. 



Dear be the Church, that, watching o'er the needs 
Of Infancy, provides a timely shower 
Whose virtue changes to a christian Flower 
A Growth from sinful Nature's bed of weeds ! — 
Fitliest beneath the sacred roof proceeds 
The ministration ; while parental Love 
Looks on, and Grace descendeth from above 
As the high service pledges now, now pleads. 
There, should vain thoughts outspread their wings andfly 
To meet the coming hours of festal mirth, 
The tombs — which hear and answer that brief cry, 
The Infant's notice of his second birth. — 
Hecal the wandering Soul to sympathy 
"With what man hopes from Heaven, yet fears from 
Earth. 



SPONSORS. 



Patheb, ! — to God himself we cannot give 
A holier name ! then lightly do not bear 
Both names conjoined, but of thy spiritual care 
Be duly mindful : still more sensitive 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 73 

Do Thou, in truth a second Mother, strive 
Against disheartening custom, that by Thee 
Watched, and with love and pious industry 
Tended at need, the adopted Plant may thrive 
For everlasting bloom. Benign and pure 
This Ordinance, whether, loss it would supply, 
Prevent omission, help deficiency, 
Or seek to make assurance doubly sure. 
Shame if the consecrated Vow be found 
An idle form, the Word an empty sound ! 



XXII. 



CATECHISING, 



Peom Little down to Least, in due degree, 
Around the Pastor, each in new-wrought vest, 
Each with a vernal posy at his breast, 
We stood, a trembling, earnest Company ! 
With low soft murmur, like a distant bee, 
Some spake, by thought-perplexing fears betrayed ; 
And some a bold unerring answer made : 
How fluttered then thy anxious heart for me, 
Beloved Mother ! Thou whose happy hand 
Had bound the flowers I wore, with faithful tie : 
Sweet flowers ! at whose inaudible command 
Her countenance, phantom-like, doth re-appear : 
O lost too early for the frequent tear, 
And ill requited by this heartfelt sigh ! 



POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXIII. 



CONFIRMATION. 

The Young-ones gathered in from hill and dale, 

With holiday delight on every brow : 

'Tis passed away ; far other thoughts prevail ; 

For they are taking the baptismal Vow 

Upon their conscious selves ; their own lips speak 

The solemn promise. Strongest sinews fail, 

And many a blooming, many a lovely, cheek 

Under the holy fear of God turns pale ; 

"While on each head his lawn-robed Servant lays 

An apostolic hand, and with prayer seals 

The Covenant. The Omnipotent will raise 

Their feeble Souls ; and bear with his regrets, 

Who, looking round the fair assemblage, feels 

That ere the Sun goes down their childhood sets. 



XXIV. 



CONFIRMATION CONTINUED. 



I saw a Mother's eye intensely bent 
Upon a Maiden trembling as she knelt ; 
In and for whom the pious Mother felt 
Things that we judge of by a light too faint : 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 75 

Tell, if ye may, some star-crowned Muse, or Saint ! 

Tell what rushed in, from what she was relieved — 

Then, when her Child the hallowing touch received, 

And such vibration through the Mother went 

That tears burst forth amain. Did gleams appear ? 

Opened a vision of that blissful place 

"Where dwells a Sister-child ? And was power given 

Part of her lost One's glory back to trace 

Even to this Bite ? For thus She knelt, and, ere 

The summer-leaf had faded, passed to Heaven. 



xxv. 



SACRAMENT. 



By chain yet stronger must the Soul be tied : 

One duty more, last stage of this ascent, 

Brings to thy food, mysterious Sacrament ! 

The Offspring, haply, at the Parent's side ; 

But not till They, with all that do abide 

In Heaven, have lifted up their hearts to laud 

And magnify the glorious name of God, 

Fountain of grace, whose Son for sinners died. 

Ye, who have duly weighed the summons, pause 

No longer ; ye, whom to the saving rite 

The Altar calls, come early under laws 

That can secure for you a path of light 

Through gloomiest shade ; put on (nor dread its weight) 

Armour divine, and conquer in your cause ! 



76 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXYI. 

THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY. 

The Vested Priest before the Altar stands ; 

Approach, come gladly, ye prepared, in sight 

Of God and chosen friends, yonr troth to plight 

With the symbolic ring, and willing hands 

Solemnly joined. Now sanctify the bands 

Father ! — to the Espoused thy blessing give, 

That mutually assisted they may live 

Obedient, as here taught, to thy commands. 

So prays the Church, to consecrate a Vow 

" The which would endless matrimony make ;" 

Union that shadows forth and doth partake 

A mystery potent human love to endow 

With heavenly, each more prized for the other's sake; 

Weep not, meek Bride ! uplift thy timid brow. 



XXVII. 

THANKSGIVING AFTER CHILDBIRTH. 

Woman ! the Power who left his throne on high, 
And deigned to wear the robe of flesh we wear, 
The Power that thro' the straits of Infancy 
Did pass dependant on maternal care, 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. # 77 

His own humanity with Thee will share, 

Pleased with the thanks that in his People's eye 

Thou offerest up for safe Delivery 

Prom Childbirth's perilous throes. And should the 

Heir 
Of thy fond hopes hereafter w r alk inclined 
To courses fit to make a mother rue 
That ever he was born, a glance of mind 
Cast upon this observance may renew 
A better will ; and, in the imagined view 
Of thee thus kneeling, safety he may find. 



XXVIII. 



VISITATION OF THE SICK. 



The Sabbath bells renew the inviting peal ; 
Glad music ! yet there be that, worn with pain 
And sickness, listen where they long have lain, 
In sadness listen. "With maternal zeal 
Inspired, the Church sends ministers to kneel 
Beside the afflicted ; to sustain with prayer, 
And soothe the heart confession hath laid bare — 
That pardon, from God's throne, may set its seal 
On a true Penitent. "When breath departs 
Prom one disburthened so, so comforted, 
His Spirit Angels greet ; and ours be hope 
That, if the Sufferer rise from his sick-bed, 
Hence he will gain a firmer mind, to cope 
"With a bad world, and foil the Tempter's arts. 



POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXIX. 
THE COMMINATION SERVICE. 

Shun not this Rite, neglected, yea abhorred, 

By some of unreflecting mind, as calling 

Man to curse man, (thought monstrous and appalling.) 

Go thou and hear the threatenings of the Lord ; 

Listening within his Temple see his sword 

Unsheathed in wrath to strike the offender's head, 

Thy own, if sorrow for thy sin be dead, 

Guilt unrepented, pardon unimplored. 

Two aspects bears Truth needful for salvation ; 

"Who knows not that ? — yet would this delicate age 

Look only on the Gospel's brighter page : 

Let light and dark duly our thoughts employ ; 

So shall the fearful words of Commination 

Yield timely fruit of peace and love and joy. 



xxx. 



FORMS OF PRAYER AT SEA. 



To kneeling "Worshippers no earthly floor 
Gives holier invitation than the deck 
Of a storm-shattered Vessel saved from Wreck 
(When all that Man could do availed no more) 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 

By him who raised the Tempest and restrains : 
Happy the crew who this have felt, and pour 
Forth for his mercy, as the Church ordains, 
Solemn thanksgiving. Nor will they implore 
In vain who, for a rightful cause, give breath 
To words the Church prescribes aiding the lip 
For the heart's sake, ere ship with hostile ship 
Encounters, armed for work of pain and death. 
Suppliants ! the God to whom your cause ye trust 
"Will listen, and ye know that He is just. 



XXXI. 



FUNERAL SERVICE. 



Ekom the Baptismal hour, thro' weal and woe, 
The Church extends her care to thought and deed ; 
Nor quits the Body when the Soul is freed, 
The mortal weight cast off to be laid low. 
Blest Bite for him who hears in faith, " I know 
That my Bedeemer liveth," — hears each word 
That follows — striking on some kindred chord 
Deep in the thankful heart ; — yet tears will flow. 
Man is as grass that springeth up at morn, 
Grows green, and is cut down and withereth 
Ere nightfall — truth that well may claim a sigh, 
Its natural echo ; but hope comes reborn 
At Jesu's bidding. "We rejoice, " O Death, 
Where is thy Sting? — Grave, where is thy Victory ? ' 



80 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXXII. 

RURAL CEREMONY *. 

Closing the sacred Book which long has fed 

Our meditations, give we to a day 

Of annual joy one tributary lay ; 

This day, when, forth by rustic music led, 

The village Children, while the sky is red 

"With evening lights, advance in long array 

Through the still church-yard, each with garland gay, 

That ,carried sceptre-like, o'ertops the head 

Of the proud Bearer. To the wide church- door a 

Charged with these offerings which their fathers bore 

For decoration in the Papal time, 

The innocent procession softly moves : — 

The spirit of Laud is pleased in heaven's pure clime, 

And Hooker's voice the spectacle approves ! 



XXXIII. 



"Would that our scrupulous Sires had dared to leave 
Less scanty measure of those graceful rites 
And usages, whose due return invites 
A stir of mind too natural to deceive ; 



See Note. 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 81 

Giving to Memory help when she would weave 
A crown for Hope ! — I dread the boasted lights 
That all too often are but fiery blights, 
Killing the bud o'er which in vain we grieve. 
Go, seek, when Christmas snows discomfort bring, 
The counter Spirit found in some gay church 
Green with fresh holly, every pew a perch 
In which the linnet or the thrush might sing, 
Merry and loud and safe from prying search, 
Strains offered only to the genial Spring. 



xxxiv. 



MUTABILITY. 



From low to high doth dissolution climb, 

And sink from high, to low, along a scale 

Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail ; 

A musical but melancholy chime, 

"Which they can hear who meddle not with crime, 

Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care. 

Truth fails not ; but her outward forms that bear 

The longest date do melt like frosty rime, 

That in the morning whitened hill and plain 

And is no more ; drop like the tower sublime 

Of yesterday, which royally did wear 

His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain 

Some casual shout that broke the silent air, 

Or the unimaginable touch of Time. 



82 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXXV. 

OLD ABBEYS. 

Monastic Domes ! following my downward way, 
Untouched by due regret I marked your fall ! 
Now, ruin, beauty, ancient stillness, all 
Dispose to judgments temperate as we lay 
On our past selves in life's declining day : 
For as, by discipline of Time made wise, 
We learn to tolerate the infirmities 
And faults of others — gently as he may, 
So with our own the mild Instructor deals, 
Teaching us to forget them or forgive. 
Perversely curious, then, for hidden ill 
"Why should we break Time's charitable seals ? 
Once ye were holy, ye are holy still ; 
Tour spirit freely let me drink, and live ! 



xxxvi. 



EMIGRANT FRENCH CLERGY. 



Even while I speak, the sacred roofs of France 
Are shattered into dust ; and self-exiled 
Prom altars threatened, levelled, or defiled, 
"Wander the Ministers of God, as chance 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 83 

Opens a way for life, or consonance 

Of faith invites. More welcome to no land 

The fugitives than to the British strand, 

"Where priest and layman with the vigilance 

Of true compassion greet them. Creed and test 

Vanish before the unreserved embrace 

Of catholic humanity : — distrest 

They came, — and, while the moral tempest roars 

Throughout the Country they have left, our shores 

Give to their Faith a fearless resting-place. 



CONGRATULATION. 



Thus all things lead to Charity, secured 
By them who blessed the soft and happy gale 
That landward urged the great Deliverer's sail, 
Till in the sunny bay his fleet was moored ! 
Propitious hour ! — had we, like them, endured 
Sore stress of apprehension*, with a mind 
Sickened by injuries, dreading worse designed, 
From month to month trembling and unassured, 
How had we then rejoiced ! But we have felt, 
As a loved substance, their futurity : 
Good, which they dared not hope for, we have seen ; 
A State whose generous will through earth is dealt ; 
A State — which, balancing herself between 
Licence and slavish order, dares be free. 

* See Note. 

G 2 



84 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXXVIII. 
NEW CHURCHES. 

But liberty, and triumphs on the Main, 

And laurelled armies, not to be withstood — 

"What serve they ? if, on transitory good 

Intent, and sedulous of abject gain, 

The State (ah, surely not preserved in vain !) 

Forbear to shape due channels which the Flood 

Of sacred truth may enter — till it brood 

O'er the wide realm, as o'er the Egyptian plain 

The all-sustaining Nile. No more — the time 

Is conscious of her want ; through England's bounds, 

In rival haste, the wished-for Temples rise ! 

I hear their sabbath bells' harmonious chime 

Float on the breeze — the heavenliest of all sounds 

That vale or hill prolongs or multiplies ! 



XXXIX. 



CHURCH TO BE ERECTED. 



Be this the chosen site ; the virgin sod, 
Moistened from age to age by dewy eve, 
Shall disappear, and grateful earth receive 
The corner-stone from hands that build to Grod. 



ECCLESIASTICAL S0XXET3. S5 

Yon reverend hawthorns, hardened to the rod 
Of winter storms, jet budding cheerfully ; 
Those forest oaks of Druid memory, 
Shall long survive, to shelter the Abode 
Of genuine Faith. Where, haply, 'mid this band 
Of daisies, shepherds sate of yore and wove 
May-garlands, there let the holy altar stand 
For kneeling adoration ; — while — above, 
Broods, visibly portrayed, the mystic Dove, 
That shall protect from blasphemy the Land. 



XL. 



CONTINUED. 



Mixe ear has rung, my spirit sunk subdued, 
Sharing the strong emotion of the crowd, 
When each pale brow to dread hosannas bowed 
"While clouds of incense mounting veiled the rood, 
That glimmered like a pine-tree dimly viewed 
Through Alpine vapours. Such appalling rite 
Our Church prepares not, trusting to the might 
Of simple truth with grace divine imbued ; 
Yet will we not conceal the precious Cross, 
Like men ashamed : the Sun with his first smile 
Shall greet that symbol crowning the low Pile : 
And the fresh air of incense-breathing morn 
Shall wooingly embrace it ; and green moss 
Creep round its arms through centuries unborn. 



85 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



5LI. 



NEW CHURCH-YARD. 

The encircling ground, in native turf arrayed, 
Is now by solemn consecration given 
To social interests, and to favouring Heaven ; 
And where the rugged colts their gambols played, 
And wild deer bounded through the forest glade, 
Unchecked as when by merry Outlaw driven, 
Shall hymns of praise resound at morn and even ; 
And soon, full soon, the lonely Sexton's spade 
Shall wound the tender sod. Encincture small, 
But infinite its grasp of weal and woe ! 
Hopes, fears, in never-ending ebb and flow; — 
The spousal trembling, and the ■ dust to dust,' 
The prayers, the contrite struggle, and the trust 
That to the Almighty Father looks through all. 



XLII. 



CATHEDRALS, ETC. 



Open your gates, ye everlasting Piles ! 

Types of the spiritual Church which God hath reared; 

Not loth we quit the newly-hallowed sward 

And humble altar, 'mid your sumptuous aisles 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 87 

To kneel, or thrid your intricate denies, 

Or down the nave to pace in motion slow ; 

Watching, with upward eve, the tall tower grow 

And mount, at every step, with living wiles 

Instinct — to rouse the heart and lead the will 

By a bright ladder to the world above. 

Open your gates, ye Monuments of love 

Divine ! thou Lincoln, on thy sovereign hill ! 

Thou, stately York ! and Te, whose splendours cheer 

Isis and Cam, to patient Science dear ! 



XLIII. 
INSIDE OF KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL, CAMBBIDGE. 

Tax not the royal Saint with vain expense, 

"With ill-matched aims the Architect who planned — 

Albeit labouring for a scanty band 

Of white robed Scholars only — this immense 

And glorious Work of fine intelligence ! 

Give all thou canst ; high Heaven rejects the lore 

Of nicely-calculated less or more ; 

So deemed the man who fashioned for the sense 

These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof 

Self-poised, and scooped into ten thousand cells, 

Where light and shade repose, where music dwells 

Lingering — and wandering on as loth to die ; 

Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof 

That they were born for immortality. 



POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XLIV. 



"What awful perspective ! wliile from our sight 
"With gradual stealth the lateral windows hide 
Their Portraitures, their stone-work glimmers, dyed 
In the soft chequerings of a sleepy light. 
Martyr, or King, or sainted Eremite, 
Whoe'er ye be, that thus, yourselves unseen, 
Imbue your prison-bars with solemn sheen, 
Shine on, until ye fade with coming Night ! — 
But, from the arms of silence — list ! O list ! 
The music bur steth into second life ; 
The notes luxuriate, every stone is kissed 
By sound, or ghost of sound, in mazy strife ; 
Heart-thrilling strains, that cast, before the eye 
Of the devout, a veil of ecstasy ! 



XLV. 

CONTINUED. 



They dreamt not of a perishable home 
Who thus could build. Be mine, in hours of fear 
Or grovelling thought, to seek a refuge here ; 
Or through the aisles of Westminster to roam ; 



ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS. 

"Where bubbles burst, and folly's dancing foam 
Melts, if it cross the threshold ; where the wreath 
Of awe-struck wisdom droops : or let my path 
Lead to that younger Pile, whose sky-like dome 
Hath typified by reach of daring art 
Infinity's embrace ; whose guardian crest, 
The silent Cross, among the stars shall spread 
As now, when She hath also seen her breast 
Filled with mementos, satiate with its part 
Of grateful England's overflowing Dead, 



XLVI. 



EJACULATION. 



GtLouy to Grod ! and to the Power who came 

In filial duty, clothed with love divine, 

That made his human tabernacle shine 

Like Ocean burning with purpureal flame ; 

Or like the Alpine Mount, that takes its name 

Prom roseate hues, far kenned at morn and even, 

In hours of peace, or when the storm is driven 

Along the nether region's rugged frame ! 

Earth prompts — Heaven urges ; let us seek the light, 

Studious of that pure intercourse begun 

"When first our infant brows their lustre won ; 

So, like the Mountain, may we grow more bright 

Prom unimpeded commerce with the Sun, 

At the approach of all-involving night. 



90 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XLVII. 

CONCLUSION. 

"Why sleeps the future, as a snake enrolled, 

Coil within coil, at noon-tide ? For the Word 

Yields, if with unpresumptuous faith explored, 

Power at whose touch the sluggard shall unfold 

His drowsy rings. Look forth ! — that Stream behold, 

That Stream upon whose bosom we have passed 

Moating at ease while nations have effaced 

Nations, and Death has gathered to his fold 

Long lines of mighty Kings — look forth, my Soul ! 

(Nor in this vision be thou slow to trust) 

The living "Waters, less and less by guilt 

Stained and polluted, brighten as they roll, 

Till they have reached the eternal City — built 

For the perfected Spirits of the just ! 



YARROW REVISITED, AND OTHER POEMS, 

COMPOSED (TWO EXCEPTED) DURING A TOUR IN SCOTLAND, 
AND ON THE ENGLISH BORDER, IN THE AUTUMN OF 1831, 



[In the autumn of 1831, my daughter and I set off from Rydal to 
visit Sir Walter Scott before his departure for Italy. This 
journey had been delayed by an inflammation in my eyes till we 
found that the time appointed for his leaving home would be too 
near for him to receive us without considerable inconvenience. 
Nevertheless we proceeded and reached Abbotsford on Monday. 
I was then scarcely able to lift up my eyes to the light. How 
sadly changed did I find him from the man I had seen so 
healthy, gay, and hopeful, a few years before, when he said at 
the inn at Paterdale in my presence, his daughter Anne also 
being there, with Mr. Lockhart, my own wife and daughter, 
and Mr. Quillinan, — "I mean to live till I am eighty, and 
shall write as long as I live." But to return to Abbotsford : 
the inmates and guests we found there were Sir Walter, Major 
Scott, Anne Scott, and Mr. and Mrs. Lockhart, Mr. Liddell, 
his Lady and Brother, and Mr. Allan the painter, and Mr. 
Laidlow, a very old friend of Sir Walter's. One of Burns' s sons, 
an officer in the Indian service, had left the house a day or two 
before, and had kindly expressed his regret that he could not 
await my arrival, a regret that I may truly say was mutual. In 
the evening, Mr. and Mrs. Liddell sang, and Mrs. Lockhart 
chanted old ballads to her harp ; and Mr. Allan, hanging over 
the back of a chair, told and acted odd stories in a humorous 
way. With this exhibition and his daughter's singing, Sir 
Walter was much amused, as indeed were we all as far as 
circumstances would allow. But what is most worthy of mention 
is the admirable demeanour of Major Scott during the following 
evening when the Liddells were gone and only ourselves and 
Mr. Allan were present. He had much, to suffer from the sight 
of his father's infirmities and from the great change that was 
about to take place at the residence he had built, and where 
he had long lived in so much prosperity and happiness. But 
what struck me most was the patient kindness with which he 
supported himself under the many fretful expressions that his 



92 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

sister Anne addressed to him or nttered in his hearing. She, 
poor thing, as mistress of that house, had been subject, after 
her mother's death, to a heavier load of care and responsibility 
and greater sacrifices of time than one of such a constitution of 
body and mind was able to bear. Of this, Dora and I were 
made so sensible, that, as soon as we had crossed the Tweed 
on our departure, we gave vent at the same moment to our 
apprehensions that her brain would fail and she would go out 
of her mind, or that she would sink under the trials she had 
passed and those which awaited her. On Tuesday morning Sir 
Walter Scott accompanied us and most of the party to Newark 
Castle on the Yarrow. When we alighted from the carriages 
he walked pretty stoutly, and had great pleasure in revisiting 
those his favourite haunts. Of that excursion the verses 
"Yarrow revisited" are a memorial. Notwithstanding the 
romance that pervades Sir Walter's works and attaches to many 
of his habits, there is too much pressure of fact for these verses 
to harmonise as much as I could wish with other poems. On 
our return in the afternoon we had to cross the Tweed directly 
opposite Abbotsford. The wheels of our carriage grated upon 
the pebbles in the bed of the stream that there flows somewhat 
rapidly ; a rich but sad light of rather a purple than a golden 
hue was spread over the Eildon hills at that moment ; and, 
thinking it probable that it might be the last time Sir Walter 
would cross the stream, I was not a little moved, and expressed 
some of my feelings in the sonnet beginning — " A trouble, not 
of clouds, or weeping rain." At noon on Thursday we left 
Abbotsford, and in the morning of that day Sir Walter and I 
had a serious conversation tete-a-tete, when he spoke with 
gratitude of the happy life which upon the whole he had led. 
He had written in my daughter's Album, before he came into 
the breakfast-room that morning, a few stanzas addressed to 
her, and, while putting the book into her hand, in his own 
study, standing by his desk, he said to her in my presence — 
"I should not have done anything of this kind but for your 
father's sake : they are probably the last verses I shall ever 
write." They show how much his mind was impaired, not by 
the strain of thought but by the execution, some of the lines 
being imperfect, and one stanza wanting corresponding rhymes : 
one letter, the initial S, had been omitted in the spelling of 
his own name. In this interview also it was that, upon my 
expressing a hope of his health being benefited by the climate 
of the country to which he was going, and by the interest he 
would take in the classic remembrances of Italy, he made use 
of the quotation from * ' Yarrow unvisited " as recorded by me 
in the ' ' Musings at Aquapendente " six years afterwards. Mr. 



YARROW REVISITED. 93 

Lockhart has mentioned in his life of him what I heard from 
several quarters while abroad, both at Rome and elsewhere, 
that little seemed to interest him but what he could collect or 
heard of the fugitive Stuarts and their adherents who had 
followed them into exile. Both the "Yarrow revisited " and 
the ' ' Sonnet " were sent him before his departure from 
England. Some further particulars of the conversations which 
occurred during this visit I should have set down had they not 
been already accurately recorded by Mr. Lockhart. I first 
became acquainted with this great and amiable man — Sir 
Walter Scott — in the year 1803, when my sister and I, making 
a tour in Scotland, were hospitably received by him in Lass- 
wade upon the banks of the Esk, where he was then living. 
We saw a good deal of him in the course of the following week : 
the particulars are given in my sister's Journal of that tour.] 



SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ., 

AS A TESTIMONY OP FRIENDSHIP, AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OP 
INTELLECTUAL OBLIGATIONS, 
THESE MEMORIALS ARE AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED. 
Ryual Mount, Dec. 11, 1834. 



The following Stanzas are a memorial of a day passed with Sir 
Walter Scott, and other Friends visiting the Banks of the 
Yarrow under his guidance, immediately before his departure 
from Abbotsford, for Naples. 

The title Yarrow Revisited will stand in no need of explana- 
tion, for Readers acquainted with the Author's previous poems 
suggested by that celebrated Stream. 

The gallant Youth, who may have gained, 

Or seeks, a ' winsome Marrow,' 
Was but an Infant in the lap 

"When first I looked on Yarrow ; 
Once more, by Newark's Castle-gate 

Long left without a warder, 
I stood, looked, listened, and with Thee, 

Great Minstrel of the Border ! 



94 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Grave thoughts ruled wide on that sweet day, 

Their dignity installing 
In gentle bosoms, while sere leaves 

Were on the bough, or falling ; 
But breezes played, and sunshine gleamed — 

The forest to embolden ; 
Eeddened the fiery hues, and shot 

Transparence through the golden. 

For busy thoughts the Stream flowed on 

In foamy agitation ; 
And slept in many a crystal pool 

For quiet contemplation : 
No public and no private care 

The freeborn mind enthralling, 
We made a day of happy hours, 

Our happy days recalling. 

Brisk Youth appeared, the Morn of youth, 

With freaks of graceful folly, — 
Life's temperate Noon, her sober Eve, 

Her Night not melancholy ; 
Past, present, future, all appeared 

In harmony united, 
Like guests that meet, and some from far, 

By cordial love invited. 

And if, as Yarrow, through the woods 
And down the meadow ranging, 

Did meet us with unaltered face, 

Though we were changed and changing ; 



YARROW REVISITED. 95 

If, then, some natural shadows spread 

Our inward prospect over, 
The soul's deep valley was not slow 

Its brightness to recover. 

Eternal blessings on the Muse, 

And her divine employment ! 
The blameless Muse, who trains her Sons 

For hope and calm enjoyment ; 
Albeit sickness, lingering yet, 

Has o'er their pillow brooded ; 
And Care waylays their steps — a Sprite 

Not easily eluded. 

For thee, Scott ! compelled to change 

Green Eildon-hill and Cheviot 
For warm Vesuvio's vine-clad slopes ; 

And leave thy Tweed and Tiviot 
For mild Sorento's breezy waves ; 

May classic Fancy, linking 
"With native Fancy her fresh aid, 

Preserve thy heart from sinking ! 

! while they minister to thee, 

Each vying with the other, 
May Health return to mellow Age 

With Strength, her venturous brother ; 
And Tiber, and each brook and rill 

Eenowned in song and story, 
With unimagined beauty shine, 

Nor lose one ray of glory ! 



POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

For Thou, upon a hundred streams, 

By tales of love and sorrow, 
Of faithful love, undaunted truth, 

Hast shed the power of Yarrow ; 
And streams unknown, hills yet unseen, 

Wherever they invite Thee, 
At parent Nature's grateful call, 

"With gladness must requite Thee. 

A gracious welcome shall be thine, 

Such looks of love and honour 
As thy own Yarrow gave to me 

When first I gazed upon her ; 
Eeheld what I had feared to see, 

Unwilling to surrender 
Dreams treasured up from early days, 

The holy and the tender. 

And what, for this frail world, were all 

That mortals do or suffer, 
Did no responsive harp, no pen, 

Memorial tribute offer ? 
Yea, what were mighty Nature's self? 

Her features, could they win us, 
Unhelped by the poetic voice 

That hourly speaks within us ? 

Nor deem that localised Romance 
Plays false with our affections ; 

TJnsanctifies our tears — made sport 
For fanciful dejections : 



SONNETS. 97 

Ah, no ! the visions of the past 

Sustain the heart in feeling 
Life as she is — our changeful Life, 

"With friends and kindred dealing. 

Bear witness, Te, whose thoughts that day 

In Yarrow's groves were centred ; 
"Who through the silent portal arch 

Of mouldering Newark entered ; 
And clomb the winding stair that once 

Too timidly was mounted 
By the < last Minstrel, 5 (not the last !) 

Ere he his Tale recounted. 

Flow on for ever, Yarrow Stream ! 

Fulfil thy pensive duty, 
Well pleased that future Bards should chant 

For simple hearts thy beauty ; 
To dream-light dear while yet unseen, 

Dear to the common sunshine, 
And dearer still, as now I feel, 

To memory's shadowy moonshine ! 



ii. 



ON THE DEPARTURE OP SIR WALTER SCOTT FROM ABBOTSFORD, 
FOR NAPLES. 

A trouble, not of clouds, or weeping rain, 
Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light 
Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height : 
Spirits of Power, assembled there, complain 



98 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

For kindred Power departing from their sight ; 

While Tweed, best pleased in chanting a blithe strain, 

Saddens his voice again, and jet again. 

Lift up your hearts, ye Mourners ! for the might 

Of the whole world's good wishes with him goes ; 

Blessings and prayers, in nobler retinue 

Than sceptered king or laurelled conqueror knows, 

Follow this wondrous Potentate. Be true, 

Te winds of ocean, and the midland sea, 

"Wafting your Charge to soft Parthenope ! 



in. 

A PLACE OF BURIAL IN THE SOUTH OF SCOTLAND. 

[Similar places for burial are not unfrequent in Scotland. The one 
that suggested this Sonnet lies on the banks of a small stream 
called the Wauchope that flows into the Esk near Langholme. 
Mickle, who, as it appears from his poem on Sir Martin, was 
not without genuine poetic feelings, was born and passed his 
boyhood, in this neighbourhood, under his father who was a 
minister of the Scotch Kirk. The Esk, both above and below 
Langholme, flows through a beautiful country, and the two 
streams of the Wauchope and the Ewes, which join it near that 
place, are such as a pastoral poet would delight in.] 

Paet fenced by man, part by a rugged steep 
That curbs a foaming brook, a Grave-yard lies ; 
The hare's best couching-place for fearless sleep ; 
Which moonlit elves, far seen by credulous eyes, 
Enter in dance. Of church, or sabbath ties, 
No vestige now remains ; yet thither creep 
Bereft Ones, and in lowly anguish weep 
Their prayers out to the wind and naked skies. 



SONNETS. 9! 

Proud tomb is none ; but rudely-sculptured knights, 
By bumble choice of plain old times, are seen 
Level with earth, among the hillocks green : 
Union not sad, when sunny daybreak smites 
The spangled turf, and neighbouring thickets ring 
With jubilate from the choirs of spring ! 



IV. 

ON THE SIGHT OF A MANSE IN THE SOUTH OF SCOTLAND. 

[The manses in Scotland and the gardens and grounds about them 
have seldom that attractive appearance which is common 
about our English parsonages, even when the clergyman's income 
falls below the average of the Scotch minister's. This is nob 
merely owing to the one country being poor in comparison 
with the other, but arises rather out of the equality of their 
benefices, so that no one has enough to spare for decorations 
that might serve as an example for others ; whereas, with us, 
the taste of the richer incumbent extends its influence more or 
less to the poorest. After all, in these observations the surface 
only of the matter is touched. I once heard a conversation in 
which the Roman Catholic Religion was decried on account of 
its abuses. " You cannot deny, however," said a lady of the 
party, repeating an expression used by Charles 2nd, "that it is 
the religion of a gentleman." It may be left to the Scotch 
themselves to determine how far this observation applies to 
their Kirk, while it cannot be denied, if it is wanting in that 
characteristic quality, the aspect of common life, so far as 
concerns its beauty, must suffer. Sincere christian piety may 
be thought not to stand in need of refinement or studied 
ornament ; but assuredly it is ever ready to adopt them, when 
they fall within its notice, as means allow ; and this observa- 
tion applies not only to manners, but to everything a christian 
(truly so in spirit) cultivates and gathers round him, however 
humble his social condition.] 

Sat, ye far-travelled clouds, far-seeing hills — 
Among the happiest-looking homes of men 

h2 



100 POEMS OP THE IMAGINATION. 

Scattered all Britain over, through deep glen, 

On airy upland, and by forest rills, 

And o'er wide plains cheered by the lark that trills 

His sky-born warblings — does aught meet your ken 

More fit to animate the Poet's pen, 

Aught that more surely by its aspect fills 

Pure minds with sinless envy, than the Abode 

Of the good Priest : who, faithful through all hours 

To his high charge, and truly serving Grod, 

Has yet a heart and hand for trees and flowers, 

Enjoys the walks his predecessors trod, 

Nor covets lineal rights in lands and towers. 



v. 

COMPOSED IN ROSLIN CHAPEL, DURING A STORM. 

[We were detained by incessant rain and storm at the small inn 
near Roslin Chapel, and I passed a great part of the day- 
pacing to and fro in this beautiful structure, which, though 
not used for public service, is not allowed to go to ruin. Here, 
this Sonnet was composed. If it has at all done justice to the 
feeling which the place and the storm raging without inspired, 
I was as a prisoner. A painter delineating the interior of the 
chapel and its minute features under such circumstances would 
have, no doubt, found his time agreeably shortened. But the 
movements of the mind must be more free while dealing with 
words than with lines and colours ; such at least was then and 
has been on many other occasions my belief, and, as it is 
allotted to few to follow both arts with success, I am grateful 
to my own calling for this and a thousand other recommen- 
dations which are denied to that of the painter.] 

The wind is now thy organist ; — a clank 
(We know not whence) ministers for a bell 
To mark some change of service. As the swell 
Of music reached its height, and even when sank 



SONNETS. 101 

The notes, in prelude, Eoslin ! to a blank 

Of silence, how it thrilled thy sumptuous roof, 

Pillars, and arches, — not in vain time-proof, 

Though Christian rites be wanting! From what bank 

Came those live herbs ? by what hand were they sown 

"Where dew falls not, where rain-drops seem unknown? 

Yet in the Temple they a friendly niche 

Share with their sculptured fellows, that, green-grown, 

Copy their beauty more and more, and preach, 

Though mute, of all things blending into one. 



THE TROSACHS. 



[As recorded in my sister's Journal, I had first seen the Trosachs 
in her and Coleridge's company. The sentiment that runs 
through this Sonnet was natural to the season in which I again 
saw this beautiful spot ; but this and some other sonnets that 
follow were coloured by the remembrance of my recent visit to 
Sir Walter Scott, and the melancholy errand on which he was 
going.] 

There's not a nook within this solemn Pass, 

But were an apt confessional for One 

Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone, 

That Life is but a tale of morning grass 

"Withered at eve. Prom scenes of art which chase 

That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes 

Peed it 'mid Nature's old felicities, 

Bocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glass 

Untouched, unbreathed upon. Thrice happy quest, 

If from a golden perch of aspen spray 



102 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

(October's workmanship to rival May) 
The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast 
That moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay, 
Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest ! 



VII. 



The pibroch's note, discountenanced or mute ; 

The Roman kilt, degraded to a toy 

Of quaint apparel for a half-spoilt boy ; 

The target mouldering like ungathered fruit ; 

The smoking steam-boat eager in pursuit, 

As eagerly pursued ; the umbrella spread 

To weather-fend the Celtic herdsman's head — 

All speak of manners withering to the root, 

And of old honours, too, and passions high : 

Then may we ask, though pleased that thought should 

range 
Among the conquests of civility, 
Survives imagination — to the change 
Superior ? Help to virtue does she give ? 
If not, O Mortals, better cease to live ! 



SONNETS. 103 



YIII. 



COMPOSED IN THE GLEN OF LOCH ETIVE. 

["That make the Patriot spirit." It was mortifying to have 
frequent occasions to observe the bitter hatred of the lower 
orders of the Highlanders to their superiors ; love of country- 
seemed to have passed into its opposite. Emigration was the 
only relief looked to with hope.] 

" This Land of Rainbows spanning glens whose walls, 
Bock-built, are bung witb rainbow-coloured mists — 
Of far-stretcbed Meres wbose salt flood never rests — 
Of tuneful Caves and playful "Waterfalls — 
Of Mountains varying momently tbeir crests — 
Proud be tbis Land ! wbose poorest buts are balls 
"Where Fancy entertains becoming guests ; 
While native song the heroic Past recals." 
Thus, in the net of her own wishes caught, 
The Muse exclaimed ; but Story now must hide 
Her trophies, Fancy crouch ; the course of pride 
Has been diverted, other lessons taught, 
That make the Patriot-spirit bow her head 
Where the all-conquering Roman feared to tread. 



104 POEMS OP THE IMAGINATION. 



IX. 

EAGLES. 
COMPOSED AT DUNOLLIE CASTLE IN THE BAY OP OBAN. 

[" The last I saw was on the wing," off the promontory of Fair- 
head, county of Antrim. I mention this because, though my 
tour in Ireland with Mr. Marshall and his son was made many 
years ago, this allusion to the eagle is the only image supplied 
by it to the poetry I have since written. We travelled through 
that country in October, and to the shortness of the days and 
the speed with which we travelled (in a carriage and four) may 
be ascribed this want of notices, in my verse, of a country so 
interesting. The deficiency I am somewhat ashamed of, and it 
is the more remarkable as contrasted with my Scotch and 
Continental tours, of which are to be found in these volumes 
so many memorials. ] 

Dishonoueed Bock and Bum ! that, by law 

Tyrannic, keep the Bird of Jove embarred 

Like a lone criminal whose life is spared. 

Vexed is he, and screams loud. The last I saw 

"Was on the wing ; stooping, he struck with awe 

Man, bird, and beast ; then, with a consort paired, 

From a bold headland, their loved aery's guard, 

Mew high above Atlantic waves, to draw 

Light from the fountain of the setting sun. 

Such was this Prisoner once ; and, when his plumes 

The sea-blast ruffles as the storm comes on, 

Then, for a moment, he, in spirit, resumes 

His rank 'mong freeborn creatures that live free, 

His power, his beauty, and his majesty. 



SONNETS. 105 



X. 



IN THE SOUND OF MULL. 

[Touring late in the season in Scotland is an uncertain speculation. 
We were detained a week by rain at Bunaw on Loch Etive in 
a vain hope that the weather would clear up and allow me to 
show my daughter the beauties of Grlencoe. Two days we were 
at the isle of Mull, on a visit to Major Campbell ; but it rained 
incessantly, and we were obliged to give up our intention of 
going to Staffa. The rain pursued us to Tyndrum, where the 
Eleventh Sonnet was composed in a storm.] 

Teadition ? be thou mute ! Oblivion, throw 

Thy veil in mercy o'er the records, hung 

Eound strath and mountain, stamped by the ancient 

tongue 
On rock and ruin darkening as we go, — 
Spots where a word, ghost-like, survives to show 
What crimes from hate, or desperate love, have sprung ; 
From honour misconceived, or fancied wrong, 
"What feuds, not quenched but fed by mutual woe. 
Yet, though a wild vindictive Race, untamed 
By civil arts and labours of the pen, 
Could gentleness be scorned by those fierce Men, 
Who, to spread wide the reverence they claimed 
For patriarchal occupations, named 
Yon towering Peaks, ' Shepherds of Etive Grlen # ? ' 

* In Gaelic, Buachaill Eite. 



106 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

XI. 
SUGGESTED AT TYNDRUM IN A STORM. 

Enough of garlands, of the Arcadian crook, 

And all that Greece and Italy have sung 

Of Swains reposing myrtle groves among ! 

Ours couch on naked rocks,— will cross a brook 

Swoln with chili rains, nor ever cast a look 

This way or that, or give it even a thought 

More than by smoothest pathway may be brought 

Into a vacant mind. Can written book 

Teach what they learn ? Up, hardy Mountaineer ! 

And guide the Bard, ambitious to be One 

Of Nature's privy council, as thou art, 

On cloud-sequestered heights, that see and hear 

To what dread Powers He delegates his part 

On earth, who works in the heaven of heavens, alone. 



XII. 



THE EARL OF BREADALBANE S RUINED MANSION, AND FAMILY 
BURIAL-PLACE, NEAR KILLIN. 

"Well sang the Bard who called the grave, in strains 
Thoughtful and sad, the c narrow house.' No style 
Of fond sepulchral flattery can beguile 
Grief of her sting ; nor cheat, where he detains 



SONNETS. 107 

The sleeping dust, stern Death. How reconcile 
With truth, or with each other, decked remains 
Of a once warm Abode, and that new Pile, 
For the departed, built with curious pains 
And mausolean pomp ? Yet here they stand 
Together, — 'mid trim walks and artful bowers, 
To be looked down upon by ancient hills, 
That, for the living and the dead, demand 
And prompt a harmony of genuine powers ; 
Concord that elevates the mind, and stills. 



XIII. 

' REST AND BE THANKFUL ! ' 
AT THE HEAD OF GLENCROE. 



Doubling and doubling with laborious walk, 
Who, that has gained at length the wished-for Height, 
This brief this simple way- side Call can slight, 
And rests not thankful ? Whether cheered by talk 
With some loved friend, or by the unseen hawk 
Whistling to clouds and sky-born streams that shine, 
At the sun's outbreak, as with light divine, 
Ere they descend to nourish root and stalk 
Of valley flowers. Nor, while the limbs repose, 
Will we forget that, as the fowl can keep 
Absolute stillness, poised aloft in air, 
And fishes front, unmoved, the torrent's sweep, — 
So may the Soul, through powers that Faith bestows, 
Win rest, and ease, and peace, with bliss that Angels 
share. 



108 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION, 



HIGHLAND HUT. 



See what gay wild flowers deck this earth-built Cot, 

"Whose smoke, forth-issuing whence and how it may, 

Shines in the greeting of the sun's first ray 

Like wreaths of vapour without stain or blot. 

The limpid mountain rill avoids it not ; 

And why shouldst thou ? — If rightly trained and bred, 

Humanity is humble, finds no spot 

"Which her Heaven-guided feet refuse to tread. 

The walls are cracked, sunk is the flowery roof, 

Undressed the pathway leading to the door ; 

But love, as Nature loves, the lonely Poor ; 

Search, for their worth, some gentle heart wrong-proof, 

Meek, patient, kind, and, were its trials fewer, 

Belike less happy. — Stand no more aloof* ! 



xv. 

THE HIGHLAND BROACH. 

[On ascending a hill that leads from Loch Awe towards Inverary, I fell 
into conversation with a woman of the humbler class who wore 
one of those Highland Broaches. I talked with her about it ; 
and upon parting with her, when I said with a kindness I 
truly felt — "May that Broach continue in your family through 
many generations to come, as you have already possessed it " 
— she thanked me most becomingly, and seemed not a little 
moved. ] 

* See Note. 



THE HIGHLAND BROACH. 109 

The exact resemblance which the old Broach (still in use, though 
rarely met with, among the Highlanders) bears to the Roman 
Fibnla must strike every one, and concurs, with the plaid and 
kilt, to recal to mind the communication which the ancient 
Romans had with this remote country. 

Ie to Tradition faith be due, 

And echoes from old verse speak true, 

Ere the meek Saint, Columba, bore 

Glad tidings to Iona's shore, 

No common light of nature blessed 

The mountain region of the west, 

A land where gentle manners ruled 

O'er men in dauntless virtues schooled, 

That raised, for centuries, a bar 

Impervious to the tide of war : 

Yet peaceful Arts did entrance gain 

Where haughty Force had striven in vain ; 

And, 'mid the works of skilful hands, 

By wanderers brought from foreign lands 

And various climes, was not unknown 

The clasp that fixed the Eoman Grown ; 

The Fibula, whose shape, I ween, 

Still in the Highland Broach is seen, 

The silver Broach of massy frame, 

"Worn at the breast of some grave Dame 

On road or path, or at the door 

Of fern-thatched hut on heathy moor : 

But delicate of yore its mould, 

And the material finest gold ; 

As might beseem the fairest Fair, 

Whether she graced a royal chair, 

Or shed, within a vaulted hall, 

No fancied lustre on the wall 



HO POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Where shields of mighty heroes hung, 
"While Fingal heard what Ossian sung. 

The heroic Age expired — it slept 
Deep in its tomb : — the bramble crept 
O'er Fingal' s hearth ; the grassy sod 
Grew on the floors his sons had trod : 
Malvina ! where art thou ? Their state 
The noblest-born must abdicate ; 
The fairest, while with fire and sword 
Come Spoilers — horde impelling horde, 
Must walk the sorrowing mountains, drest 
By ruder hands in homelier vest. 
Yet still the female bosom lent, 
And loved to borrow, ornament ; 
Still was its inner world a place 
Reached by the dews of heavenly grace ; 
Still pity to this last retreat 
Clove fondly ; to his favourite seat 
Love wound his way by soft approach, 
Beneath a massier Highland Broach. 

When alternations came of rage 
Yet fiercer, in a darker age ; 
And feuds, where, clan encountering clan, 
The weaker perished to a man ; 
For maid and mother, when despair 
Might else have triumphed, baffling prayer, 
One small possession lacked not power, 
Provided in a calmer hour, 
To meet such need as might befal — 
Eoof, raiment, bread, or burial : 
For woman, even of tears bereft, 
The hidden silver Broach was left. 



THE HIGHLAND BROACH. HI 

As generations come and go 
Their arts, their customs, ebb and now ; 
Fate, fortune, sweep strong powers away, 
And feeble, of themselves, decay ; 
What poor abodes the heir-loom hide, 
In which the castle once took pride ! 
Tokens, once kept as boasted wealth, 
If saved at all, are saved by stealth. 
Lo ! ships, from seas by nature barred, 
Mount along ways by man prepared ; 
And in far-stretching vales, whose streams 
Seek other seas, their canvass gleams. 
Lo ! busy towns spring up, on coasts 
Thronged yesterday by airy ghosts ; 
Soon, like a lingering star forlorn 
Among the novelties of morn, 
"While young delights on old encroach, 
Will vanish the last Highland Broach. 

But when, from out their viewless bed, 
Like vapours, years have rolled and spread ; 
And this poor verse, and worthier lays, 
Shall yield no light of love or praise ; 
Then, by the spade, or cleaving plough, 
Or torrent from the mountain's brow, 
Or whirlwind, reckless what his might 
Entombs, or forces into light ; 
Blind Chance, a volunteer ally, 
That oft befriends Antiquity, 
And clears Oblivion from reproach, 
May render back the Highland Broach*. 

* How much the Broach is sometimes prized by persons in humble 
stations may be gathered from an occurrence mentioned to me by a female 
friend. She had had an opportunity of benefiting a poor old woman in her 



112 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XYI. 

THE BROWNIE. 

Upon a small island not far from the head of Loch Lomond, are 
some remains of an ancient building, which was for several 
years the abode of a solitary Individual, one of the last 
survivors of the clan of Macfarlane, once powerful in that 
neighbourhood. Passing along the shore opposite this island 
in the year 1814, the Author learned these particulars, and 
that this person then living there had acquired the appellation 
of ' The Brownie.' See * ' The Brownie's Cell," p. 44, Vol. iii. ; 
to which the folio wing is a sequel. 

' How disappeared he ?' Ask the newt and toad ; 

Ask of his fellow men, and they will tell 

How he was found, cold as an icicle, 

Under an arch of that forlorn abode ; 

Where he, unpropped, and by the gathering flood 

Of years hemmed round, had dwelt, prepared to try 

Privation's worst extremities, and die 

With no one near save the omnipresent God. 

Verily so to live was an awful choice — 

A choice that wears the aspect of a doom ; 

But in the mould of mercy all is cast 

Por Souls familiar with the eternal Voice ; 

And this forgotten Taper to the last 

Drove from itself, we trust, all frightful gloom. 

own hut, who, wishing to make a return, said to her daughter, in Erse, in 
a tone of plaintive earnestness, " I would give anything I have, but I hope 
she does not wish for my Broach ! " and, uttering these words, she put 
her hand upon the Broach which fastened her kerchief, and which, she 
imagined, had attracted the eye of her benefactress. 



SONNETS. 113 



XVII. 



TO THE PLANET VENUS, AN EVENING STAR. 
COMPOSED AT LOCH LOMOND. 

Though joy attend Thee orient at the birth 

Of dawn, it cheers the lofty spirit most 

To watch thy course when Day-light, fled from earth, 

In the grey sky hath left his lingering Ghost, 

Perplexed as if between a splendour lost 

And splendour slowly mustering. Since the Sun, 

The absolute, the world-absorbing One, 

Relinquished half his empire to the host 

Emboldened by thy guidance, holy Star, 

Holy as princely — who that looks on thee, 

Touching, as now, in thy humility 

The mountain borders of this seat of care, 

Can question that thy countenance is bright, 

Celestial Power, as much with love as light ? 



XVIII. 

BOTHWELL CASTLE. 
(PASSED UNSEEN, ON ACCOUNT OP STORMY WEATHER.) 

[In my Sister's Journal is an account of Botnwell Castle as it 
appeared to us at that time.] 

Immured in Bothwell's towers, at times the Brave 
(So beautiful is Clyde) forgot to mourn 

VOL. IV. I 



114 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

The liberty they lost at Bannockburn. 

Once on those steeps /roamed at large, and have 

In mind the landscape, as if still in sight ; 

The river glides, the woods before me wave ; 

Then why repine that now in vain I crave 

Needless renewal of an old delight ? 

Better to thank a dear and long-past day 

For joy its sunny hours were free to give 

Than blame the present, that our wish hath crost. 

Memory, like sleep, hath powers which dreams obey, 

Dreams, vivid dreams, that are not fugitive : 

How little that she cherishes is lost ! 



XIX. 

PICTURE OF DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN, AT HAMILTON PALACE. 

Amid a fertile region green with wood 
And fresh with rivers, well did it become 
The ducal Owner, in his palace-home 
To naturalise this tawny Lion brood ; 
Children of Art, that claim strange brotherhood 
(Couched in their den) with those that roam at large 
Over the burning wilderness, and charge 
The wind with terror while they roar for food. 
Satiate are these ; and stilled to eye and ear ; 
Hence, while we gaze, a more enduring fear ! 
Yet is the Prophet calm, nor would the cave 
Daunt him — if his Companions, now be-drowsed 
Outstretched and listless, were by hunger roused : 
Man placed him here, and God, he knows, can save. 



SONNETS. 115 



XX. 

THE AVON". 
A FEEDER OF THE ANNAN. 

[" Yet is it one that other rivulets bear." There is the Shakspeare 
Avon, the Bristol Avon ; the one that flows by Salisbury, and 
a small river in Wales, I believe, bear the name ; Avon being 
in the ancient tongue the general name for river.] 

Avon — a precious, an immortal name ! 

Yet is it one that other rivulets bear 

Like this unheard-of, and their channels wear 

Like this contented, though unknown to Fame : 

For great and sacred is the modest claim 

Of Streams to Nature's love, where'er they flow ; 

And ne'er did Genius slight them, as they go, 

Tree, flower, and green herb, feeding without blame. 

But Praise can waste her voice on work of tears, 

Anguish, and death : full oft where innocent blood 

Has mixed its current with the limpid flood, 

Her heaven- offending trophies Glory rears : 

Never for like distinction may the good 

Shrink from thy name, pure Bill, with unpleased ears. 



HO POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXI. 

SUGGESTED BY A VIEW FROM AN EMINENCE IN INGLEWOOD 
FOREST. 

[The extensive forest of Inglewood has been enclosed within my 
memory. I was well acquainted with it in its ancient state. 
The Hart's-horn tree mentioned in the next Sonnet was one of 
its remarkable objects, as well as another tree that grew upon 
an eminence not far from Penrith : it was single and conspicuous ; 
and being of a round shape, though it was universally known 
to-be a Sycamore, it was always called the "Round Thorn," 
so difficult is it to chain fancy down to fact.] 

The forest huge of ancient Caledon 

Is but a name, no more is Inglewood, 

That swept from hill to hill, from flood to flood : 

On her last thorn the nightly moon has shone ; 

Yet still, though unappropriate "Wild be none, 

Fair parks spread wide where Adam Bell might deign 

With Clym o* the Clough, were they alive again, 

To kill for merry feast their venison. 

Nor wants the holy Abbot's gliding Shade 

His church with monumental wreck bestrown ; 

The feudal Warrior-chief, a G-host unlaid, 

Hath still his castle, though a skeleton, 

That he may watch by night, and lessons con 

Of power that perishes, and rights that fade. 



SONNETS. ]17 



XXII. 

HART's-HORN TREE, NEAR PENRITH. 

Here stood an Oak, that long had borne affixed 
To his huge trunk, or, with more subtle art, 
Among its withering topmost branches mixed, 
The palmy antlers of a hunted Hart, 
Whom the Dog Hercules pursued — his part 
Each desperately sustaining, till at last 
Both sank and died, the life-veins of the chased 
And chaser bursting here with one dire smart. 
Mutual the victory, mutual the defeat ! 
High was the trophy hung with pitiless pride ; 
Say, rather, with that generous sympathy 
That wants not, even in rudest breasts, a seat ; 
And, for this feeling's sake, let no one chide 
Verse that would guard thy memory, Hart's-horn 
Tree*! 



FANCY AND TRADITION. 



The Lovers took within this ancient grove 
Their last embrace ; beside those crystal springs 
The Hermit saw the Angel spread his wings 
For instant flight ; the Sage in yon alcove 



* See Note. 



118 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Sate musing ; on that hill the Bard would rove, 
Not mute, where now the linnet only sings : 
Thus every where to truth Tradition clings, 
Or Fancy localises Powers we love. 
Were only History licensed to take note 
Of things gone by, her meagre monuments 
"Would ill suffice for persons and events : 
There is an ampler page for man to quote, 
A readier book of manifold contents, 
Studied alike in palace and in cot. 



XXIV. 

countess' pillar. 



[Suggested by the recollection of Julian's Bower and other traditions 
connected with this ancient forest. ] 

On the roadside between Penrith and Appleby, there stands a pillar 
with the following inscription : — 

i This Pillar was erected, in the year 1656, by Anne Countess 
Dowager of Pembroke, &c. for a memorial of her last parting 
with her pious mother, Margaret Countess Dowager of Cumber- 
land, on the 2d of April, 1616 ; in memory whereof she 
hath left an annuity of 41. to be distributed to the poor of the 
parish of Brougham, every 2d day of April for ever, upon the 
stone table placed hard by. Laus Deo ! ' 

While tlie Poor gather round, till the end of time 
May this bright flower of Charity display 
Its bloom, unfolding at the appointed day ; 
Mower than the loveliest of the vernal prime 
Lovelier — transplanted from heaven's purest clime ! 
6 Charity never faileth :' on that creed, 
More than on written testament or deed, 
The pious Lady built with hope sublime. 



SONNETS. 119 

Alms on this stone to be dealt out, for ever ! 
6 Laus Deo.' Many a Stranger passing by- 
Has with that Parting mixed a filial sigh, 
Blest its humane Memorial's fond endeavour; 
And, fastening on those lines an eye tear-glazed, 
Has ended, though no Clerk, with ' God be praised ! ' 



xxv. 

ROMAN ANTIQUITIES. 
(FKOM THE ROMAN STATION AT OLD PENRITH.) 

How profitless the relics that we cull, 
Troubling the last holds of ambitious Rome, 
Unless they chasten fancies that presume 
Too high, or idle agitations lull ! 
Of the world's flatteries if the brain be full, 
To have no seat for thought were better doom, 
Like this old helmet, or the eyeless skull 
Of him who gloried in its nodding plume. 
Heaven out of view, our wishes what are they ? 
Our fond regrets tenacious in their grasp ? 
The Sage's theory ? the Poet's lay ? 
Mere Pibulse without a robe to clasp ; 
Obsolete lamps, whose light no time recals ; 
Urns without ashes, tearless lacrymals ! 



120 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXVI. 
APOLOGY, 

FOR THE FOREGOING POEMS. 

No more : the end is sudden and abrupt, 

Abrupt — as without preconceived design 

Was the beginning ; yet the several Lays 

Have moved in order, to each other bound 

By a continuous and acknowledged tie 

Though unapparent — like those Shapes distinct 

That yet survive ensculptured on the walls 

Of palaces, or temples, 'mid the wreck 

Of famed Persepolis ; each following each, 

As might beseem a stately embassy, 

In set array ; these bearing in their hands 

Ensign of civil power, weapon of war, 

Or gift to be presented at the throne 

Of the Great King ; and others, as they go 

In priestly vest, with holy offerings charged, 

Or leading victims drest for sacrifice. 

Nor will the Power we serve, that sacred Power, 

The Spirit of humanity, disdain 

A ministration humble but sincere, 

That from a threshold loved by every Muse 

Its impulse took — that sorrow-stricken door, 

"Whence, as a current from its fountain-head, 

Our thoughts have issued, and our feelings flowed, 

Receiving, willingly or not, fresh strength 

Prom kindred sources ; while around us sighed 



APOLOGY. 121 

(Life's three first seasons having passed away) 

Leaf-scattering winds ; and hoar-frost sprinklings fell 

(Foretaste of winter) on the moorland heights ; 

And every day brought with it tidings new 

Of rash change, ominous for the public weal. 

Hence, if dejection has too oft encroached 

Upon that sweet and tender melancholy 

Which may itself be cherished and caressed 

More than enough ; a fault so natural 

(Even with the young, the hopeful, or the gay) 

Por prompt forgiveness will not sue in vain. 



122 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 



Calm is the fragrant air, and loth to lose 

Day's grateful warmth, tho' moist with falling dews. 

Look for the stars, you'll say that there are none ; 

Look up a second time, and, one by one, 

Tou mark them twinkling out with silvery light, 

And wonder how they could elude the sight ! 

The birds, of late so noisy in their bowers, 

"Warbled a while with faint and fainter powers, 

But now are silent as the dim-seen flowers : 

Nor does the village Church- clock's iron tone 

The time's and season's influence disown; 

Nine beats distinctly to each other bound 

In drowsy sequence — how unlike the sound 

That, in rough winter, oft inflicts a fear 

On fireside listeners, doubting what they hear ! 

The shepherd, bent on rising with the sun, 

Had closed his door before the day was done, 

And now with thankful heart to bed doth creep, 

And joins his little children in their sleep. 

The bat, lured forth where trees the lane o'ershade, 

Elits and reflits along the close arcade ; 

The busy dor-hawk chases the white moth 

"With burring note, which Industry and Sloth 

Might both be pleased with, for it suits them both. 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 123 

A stream is heard — I see it not, but know 
By its soft music whence the waters flow : 
Wheels and the tread of hoofs are heard no more ; 
One boat there was, but it will touch the shore 
"With the next dipping of its slackened oar ; 
Paint sound, that, for the gayest of the gay, 
Might give to serious thought a moment's sway, 
As a last token of man's toilsome day ! 

1832. 



ii. 
ON A HIGH PART OF THE COAST OF CUMBERLAND. 

Easter Sunday, April 7. 

THE AUTHOR'S SIXTY-THIRD BIRTH-DAY. 

[The lines were composed on the road between Moresby and White- 
haven while I was on a visit to my son, then rector of the former 
place. This succession of Voluntaries, with the exception of the 
8th and 9th, originated in the concluding lines of the last 
paragraph of this poem. With this coast I have been familiar 
from my earliest childhood, and remember being struck for the 
first time by the town and port of Whitehaven and the white 
waves breaking against its quays and piers, as the whole came 
into view from the top of the high ground down which the road (it 
has since been altered) then descended abruptly. My sister, when 
she first heard the voice of the sea from this point, and beheld the 
scene spread before her, burst into tears. Our family then lived 
at Cockermouth, and this fact was often mentioned among us 
as indicating the sensibility for which she was so remarkable.] 

The Sun, that seemed so mildly to retire, 
Flung back from distant climes a streaming fire, 
Whose blaze is now subdued to tender gleams, 
Prelude of night's approach with soothing dreams. 
Look round ; — of all the clouds not one is moving ; 
'Tis the still hour of thinking, feeling, loving. 



124- POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Silent, and stedfast as the vaulted sky, 
The boundless plain of waters seems to lie : — 
Comes that low sound from breezes rustling o'er 
The grass-crowned headland that conceals the shore ? 
No ; 'tis the earth-voice of the mighty sea, 
Whispering how meek and gentle he can be ! 

Thou Power supreme ! who, arming to rebuke 
Offenders, dost put off the gracious look, 
And clothe thyself with terrors like the flood 
Of ocean roused into his fiercest mood, 
"Whatever discipline thy Will ordain 
[For the brief course that must for me remain ; 
Teach me with quick-eared spirit to rejoice 
In admonitions of thy softest voice ! 
Whate'er the path these mortal feet may trace, 
Breathe through my soul the blessing of thy grace, 
Grlad, through a perfect love, a faith sincere 
Drawn from the wisdom that begins with fear, 
Grlad to expand ; and, for a season, free 
From finite cares, to rest absorbed in Thee ! 

1833. 



in. 
(BY THE SEA-SIDE.) 



The sun is couched, the sea-fowl gone to rest, 
And the wild storm hath somewhere found a nest ; 
Air slumbers — wave with wave no longer strives, 
Only a heaving of the deep survives, 
A tell-tale motion ! soon will it be laid, 
And by the tide alone the water swayed. 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 125 

Stealthy withdrawings, interminglings mild 
Of light with shade in beauty reconciled — 
Such is the prospect far as sight can range, 
The soothing recompence, the welcome change. 
Where, now, the ships that drove before the blast, 
Threatened by angry breakers as they passed ; 
And by a train of flying clouds bemocked ; 
Or, in the hollow surge, at anchor rocked 
As on a bed of death ? Some lodge in peace, 
Saved by His care who bade the tempest cease ; 
And some, too heedless of past danger, court 
Fresh gales to waft them to the far-off port ; 
But near, or hanging sea and sky between, 
Not one of all those winged powers is seen, 
Seen in her course, nor 'mid this quiet heard ; 
Yet oh ! how gladly would the air be stirred 
By some acknowledgment of thanks and praise, 
Soft in its temper as those vesper lays 
Sung to the Virgin while accordant oars 
Urge the slow bark along Calabrian shores ; 
A sea-born service through the mountains felt 
Till into one loved vision all things melt : 
Or like those hymns that soothe with graver sound 
The gulfy coast of Norway iron-bound ; 
And, from the wide and open Baltic, rise 
With punctual care, Lutherian harmonies. 
Hush, not a voice is here ! but why repine, 
Now when the star of eve comes forth to shine 
On British waters with that look benign ? 
Te mariners, that plough your onward way, 
Or in the haven rest, or sheltering bay, 
May silent thanks at least to God be given 
With a full heart ; 6 our thoughts are heard in heaven ! ' 

1833. 



126 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



IY. 

[The lines following "nor do words" were written with Lord 
Byron's character, as a poet, before me, and that of others, his 
contemporaries, who wrote under like influences.] 

Not in the lucid intervals of life 
That come but as a curse to party-strife ; 
Not in some hour when Pleasure with a sigh 
Of languor puts his rosy garland by ; 
Not in the breathing-times of that poor slave 
"Who daily piles up wealth in Mammon's cave — 
Is Nature felt, or can be ; nor do words, 
"Which practised talent readily affords, 
Prove that her hand has touched responsive chords ; 
Nor has her gentle beauty power to move 
"With genuine rapture and with fervent love 
The soul of Grenius, if he dare to take 
Life's rule from passion craved for passion's sake ; 
Untaught that meekness is the cherished bent 
Of all the truly great and all the innocent. 
But who is innocent ? By grace divine, 
Not otherwise, O Nature ! we are thine, 
Through good and evil thine, in just degree 
Of rational and manly sympathy. 
To all that Earth from pensive hearts is stealing, 
And Heaven is now to gladdened eyes revealing, 
Add every charm the Universe can show 
Through every change its aspects undergo — 
Care may be respited, but not repealed ; 
No perfect cure grows on that bounded field. 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 127 

Tain is the pleasure, a false calm the peace, 
If He, through whom alone our conflicts cease, 
Our virtuous hopes without relapse advance, 
Come not to speed the Soul's deliverance ; 
To the distempered Intellect refuse 
His gracious help, or give what we abuse. 

1834. 



(BY THE SIDE OF RYDAL MERE.) 

The linnet's warble, sinking towards a close, 
Hints to the thrush 'tis time for their repose ; 
The shrill- voiced thrush is heedless, and again 
The monitor revives his own sweet strain ; 
Eut both will soon be mastered, and the copse 
Be left as silent as the mountain-tops, 
Ere some commanding star dismiss to rest 
The throng of rooks, that now, from twig or nest, 
(After a steady flight on home-bound wings, 
And a last game of mazy hoverings 
Around their ancient grove) with cawing noise 
Disturb the liquid music's equipoise. 

O Nightingale ! Who ever heard thy song 
Might here be moved, till Eancy grows so strong 
That listening sense is pardonably cheated 
Where wood or stream by thee was never greeted. 
Surely, from fairest spots of favoured lands, 
Were not some gifts withheld by jealous hands, 
This hour of deepening darkness here would be 
As a fresh morning for new harmony ; 



128 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

And lays as prompt would hail the dawn of Night : 
A dawn she has both beautiful and bright, 
"When the East kindles with the full moon's light ; 
Not like the rising sun's impatient glow 
Dazzling the mountains, but an overflow 
Of solemn splendour, in mutation slow. 

Wanderer by spring with gradual progress led, 
For sway profoundly felt as widely spread ; 
To king, to peasant, to rough sailor, dear, 
And to the soldier's trumpet- wearied ear ; 
How welcome wouldst thou be to this green Vale 
Fairer than Tempe ! Yet, sweet Nightingale ! 
From the warm breeze that bears thee on, alight 
At will, and stay thy migratory flight ; 
Build, at thy choice, or sing, by pool or fount, 
"Who shall complain, or call thee to account ? 
The wisest, happiest, of our kind are they 
That ever walk content with Nature's way, 
God's goodness — measuring bounty as it may; 
For whom the gravest thought of what they miss, 
Chastening the fulness of a present bliss, 
Is with that wholesome office satisfied, 
While unrepining sadness is allied 
In thankful bosoms to a modest pride. 

1834. 



Soft as a cloud is yon blue Eidge — the Mere 
Seems firm as solid crystal, breathless, clear, 
And motionless ; and, to the gazer's eye, 
Deeper than ocean, in the immensity 
Of its vague mountains and unreal sky ! 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 129 

But, from the process in that still retreat, 

Turn to minuter changes at our feet ; 

Observe how dewy Twilight has withdrawn 

The crowd of daisies from the shaven lawn, 

And has restored to view its tender green, 

That, while the sun rode high, was lost beneath their 

dazzling sheen. 
— An emblem this of what the sober Hour 
Can do for minds disposed to feel its power ! 
Thus oft, when we in vain have wished away 
The petty pleasures of the garish day, 
Meek eve shuts up the whole usurping host 
(Unbashful dwarfs each glittering at his post) 
And leaves the disencumbered spirit free 
To reassume a staid simplicity. 

'Tis well — but what are helps of time and place, 
"When wisdom stands in need of nature's grace ; 
"Why do good thoughts, invoked or not, descend, 
Like Angels from their bowers, our virtues to befriend ; 
If yet To-morrow, unbelied, may say, 
" I come to open out, for fresh display, 
The elastic vanities of yesterday ? " 

1834. 



130 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



VII. 

[Composed by the side of Grasmere lake. The mountains that 
enclose the vale, especially towards Easdale, are most favor- 
able to the reverberation of sound. There is a passage in the 
1 'Excursion" towards the close of the fourth book, where the 
voice of the raven in flight is traced through the modifications 
it undergoes, as I have often heard it in that vale and others of 
this district. 

"Often, at the hour 
When issue forth the first pale stars, is heard, 
Within the circuit of this fabric huge, 
One voice — the solitary raven."] 

The leaves that rustled on this oak-crowned hill, 
And sky that danced among those leaves, are still : 
Best smooths the way for sleep ; in field and bower 
Soft shades and dews have shed their blended power 
On drooping eyelid and the closing flower ; 
Sound is there none at which the faintest heart 
Might leap, the weakest nerve of superstition start ; 
Save when the Owlet's unexpected scream 
Pierces the ethereal vault ; and (mid the gleam 
Of unsubstantial imagery, the dream, 
From the hushed vale's realities, transferred 
To the still lake) the imaginative Bird 
Seems, 'mid inverted mountains, not unheard. 

Grave Creature ! — whether, while the moon shines 
bright 
On thy wings opened wide for smoothest flight, 
Thou art discovered in a roofless tower, 
Bising from what may once have been a lady's bower ; 
Or spied where thou sitt'st moping in thy mew 
At the dim centre of a churchyard yew ; 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 131 

Or, from a rifted crag or ivy tod 

Deep in a forest, thy secure abode, 

Thou giv'st, for pastime's sake, by shriek or shout, 

A puzzling notice of thy whereabout — 

May the night never come, nor day be seen, 

When I shall scorn thy voice or mock thy mien ! 

In classic ages men perceived a soul 
Of sapience in thy aspect, headless Owl ! 
Thee Athens reverenced in the studious grove ; 
And, near the golden sceptre grasped by Jove, 
His Eagle's favourite perch, while round him sate 
The Gods revolving the decrees of Pate, 
Thou, too, wert present at Minerva's side : — 
Hark to that second larum ! — far and wide 
The elements have heard, and rock and cave replied. 

1834. 



VIII. 



[Repkinted at the request of my Sister, in whose presence the lines 
were thrown off.] 

This Impromptu appeared, many years ago, among the Author's 
poems, from which, in subsequent editions, it was excluded * 

The sun has long been set, 

The stars are out by twos and threes, 

The little birds are piping yet 
Among the bushes and trees ; 

There's a cuckoo, and one or two thrushes, 

And a far-off wind that rushes, 

And a sound of water that gushes, 

k 2 



132 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

And the cuckoo's sovereign cry 
Eills all the hollow of the sky. 

Who would 6 go parading' 
In London, c and masquerading, ' 
On such a night of June 
With that beautiful soft half-moon, 
And all these innocent blisses ? 
On such a night as this is ! 

1804. 



COMPOSED UPON AN EVENING- OF EXTRAORDINARY 
SPLENDOUR AND BEAUTY. 

[Felt and in a great measure composed upon the little mount in 
front of our abode at Rydal. In concluding my notices of this 
class of poems it may be as well to observe that among the 
" Miscellaneous Sonnets" are a few alluding to morning im- 
pressions which might be read with mutual benefit in connection 
with these " Evening Voluntaries. " See, for example, that 
one on Westminster Bridge, that composed on a May morning, 
the one on the song of the Thrush, and that beginning — 
" While beams of orient light shoot wide and high."] 



Had this effulgence disappeared 
"With flying haste, I might have sent, 
Among the speechless clouds, a look 
Of blank astonishment ; 
But 'tis endued with power to stay, 
And sanctify one closing day, 
That frail Mortality may see — 
What is ? —ah no, but what can be ! 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 133 

Time was when field and watery cove 

"With modulated echoes rang, 

While choirs of fervent Angels sang 

Their vespers in the grove ; 

Or, crowning, star-like, each some sovereign height, 

Warbled, for heaven above and earth below, 

Strains suitable to both. — Such holy rite, 

Methinks, if audibly repeated now 

From hill or valley, could not move 

Sublimer transport, purer love, 

Than doth this silent spectacle — the gleam — 

The shadow — and the peace supreme ! 

ii. 
No sound is uttered, — but a deep 
And solemn harmony pervades 
The hollow vale from steep to steep, 
And penetrates the glades. 
Ear- distant images draw nigh, 
Called forth by wondrous potency 
Of beamy radiance, that imbues, 
Whate'er it strikes, with gem-like hues ! 
In vision exquisitely clear, 
Herds range along the mountain side ; 
And glistening antlers are descried ; 
And gilded flocks appear. 
Thine is the tranquil hour, purpureal Eve ! 
But long as god-like wish, or hope divine, 
Informs my spirit, ne'er can I believe 
That this magnificence is wholly thine ! 
— Erom worlds not quickened by the sun 
A portion of the gift is won ; 



134 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

An intermingling of Heaven's pomp is spread 
On ground which British shepherds tread ! 



And, if there be whom broken ties 

Afflict, or injuries assail, 

Ton hazj ridges to their eyes 

Present a glorious scale, 

Climbing suffused with sunny air, 

To stop — no record hath told where ! 

And tempting Fancy to ascend, 

And with immortal Spirits blend ! 

— Wings at my shoulders seem to play ; 

But, rooted here, I stand and gaze 

On those bright steps that heaven-ward raise 

Their practicable way. 

Come forth, ye drooping old men, look abroad, 

And see to what fair countries ye are bound ! 

And if some traveller, weary of his road, 

Hath slept since noon-tide on the grassy ground, 

Ye Grenii ! to his covert speed ; 

And wake him with such gentle heed 

As may attune his soul to meet the dower 

Bestowed on this transcendent hour ! 



Such hues from their celestial Urn 
Were wont to stream before mine eye, 
Where'er it wandered in the morn 
Of blissful infancy. 
This glimpse of glory, why renewed ? 
Nay, rather speak with gratitude ; 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 135 

For, if a vestige of those gleams 

Survived, 'twas only in my dreams. 

Dread Power ! whom peace and calmness serve 

No less than Nature's threatening voice, 

If aught unworthy be my choice, 

From Thee if I would swerve ; 

Oh, let thy grace remind me of the light 

Full early lost, and fruitlessly deplored ; 

Which, at this moment, on my waking sight 

Appears to shine, by miracle restored ; 

My soul, though yet confined to earth, 

Rejoices in a second birth ! 

— 'Tis past, the visionary splendour fades ; 

And night approaches with her shades. 

1818. 

Note. — The multiplication of mountain-ridges, described at the com- 
mencement of the third Stanza of this Ode, as a kind of Jacob's Ladder, 
leading to Heaven, is produced either by watery vapours, or sunny haze ; 
— in the present instance by the latter cause. Allusions to the Ode, 
entitled 'Intimations of Immortality,' pervade the last stanza of the fore- 
going Poem. 



COMPOSED BY THE SEA-SHORE. 

[These lines were suggested during my residence under my Son's 
roof at Moresby, on the coast near Whitehaven, at the time 
when I was composing those verses among the "Evening- 
Voluntaries" that have reference to the sea. It was in that 
neighbourhood I first became acquainted with the ocean and 
its appearances and movements. My infancy and early child- 
hood were passed at Cockermouth, about eight miles from the 
coast, and I well remember that mysterious awe with which I 
used to listen to anything said about storms and shipwrecks. 
Sea-shells of many descriptions were common in the town ; and 
I was not a little surprised when I heard that Mr. Landor had 



136 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

denounced me as a plagiarist from himself for having described 
a boy applying a sea-shell to his ear and listening to it for 
intimations of what was going on in its native element. This I 
had done myself scores of times, and it was a belief among ns 
that we could know from the sound whether the tide was 
ebbing or flowing.] 

What mischief cleaves to unsubdued regret, 

How fancy sickens by vague hopes beset ; 

How baffled projects on the spirit prey, 

And fruitless wishes eat the heart away, 

The Sailor knows ; he best, whose lot is cast 

On the relentless sea that holds him fast 

On chance dependent, and the fickle star 

Of power, through long and melancholy war. 

sad it is, in sight of foreign shores, 

Daily to think on old familiar doors, 

Hearths loved in childhood, and ancestral floors ; 

Or, tossed about along a waste of foam, 

To ruminate on that delightful home 

"Which with the dear Betrothed was to come ; 

Or came and was and is, yet meets the eye 

Never but in the world of memory ; 

Or in a dream recalled, whose smoothest range 

Is crossed by knowledge, or by dread, of change, 

And if not so, whose perfect joy makes sleep 

A thing too bright for breathing man to keep. 

Hail to the virtues which that perilous life 

Extracts from Nature's elemental strife ; 

And welcome glory won in battles fought 

As bravely as the foe was keenly sought. 

Eut to each gallant Captain and his crew 

A less imperious sympathy is due, 

Such as my verse now yields, while moonbeams play 

On the mute sea in this unruffled bav : 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 137 



Such as will promptly flow from every breast, 
Where good men, disappointed in the quest 
Of wealth and power and honours, long for rest ; 
Or, having known the splendours of success, 
Sigh for the obscurities of happiness. 



XI. 

The Crescent-moon, the Star of Love, 
Grlories of evening, as ye there are seen 
"With but a span of sky between — 
Speak one of you, my doubts remove, 

Which is the attendant Page and which the Queen ? 



XII. 

TO THE MOON. 

(COMPOSED BY THE SEA-SIDE, — ON THE COAST OF CUMBERLAND.) 

Wanderer! that stoop'st so low, and com'st so near 

To human life's unsettled atmosphere ; 

Who lov'st with Night and Silence to partake, 

So might it seem, the cares of them that wake ; 

And, through the cottage-lattice softly peeping, 

Dost shield from harm the humblest of the sleeping ; 

What pleasure once encompassed those sweet names 

Which yet in thy behalf the Poet claims, 

An idolizing dreamer as of yore ! — 

I slight them all ; and, on this sea-beat shore 



138 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Sole- sitting, only can to thoughts attend 

That bid me hail thee as the Sailor's Friend ; 

So call thee for heaven's grace through thee made known 

By confidence supplied and mercy shown, 

When not a twinkling star or beacon's light 

Abates the perils of a stormy night ; 

And for less obvious benefits, that find 

Their way, with thy pure help, to heart and mind ; 

Both for the adventurer starting in life's prime ; 

And veteran ranging round from clime to clime, 

Long-baffled hope's slow fever in his veins, 

And wounds and weakness oft his labour's sole remains. 

The aspiring Mountains and the winding Streams, 
Empress of Night ! are gladdened by thy beams ; 
A look of thine the wilderness pervades, 
And penetrates the forest's inmost shades ; 
Thou, chequering peaceably the minster's gloom, 
Q-uid'st the pale Mourner to the lost one's tomb ; 
Canst reach the Prisoner — to his grated cell 
"Welcome, though silent and intangible ! — 
And lives there one, of all that come and go 
On the great waters toiling to and fro, 
One, who has watched thee at some quiet hour 
Enthroned aloft in undisputed power, 
Or crossed by vapoury streaks and clouds that move 
Catching the lustre they in part reprove — 
Nor sometimes felt a fitness in thy sway 
To call up thoughts that shun the glare of day, 
And make the serious happier than the gay ? 
Yes, lovely Moon ! if thou so mildly bright 
Dost rouse, yet surely in thy own despite, 
To fiercer mood the phrenzy-stricken brain, 
Let me a compensating faith maintain ; 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 139 

That there's a sensitive, a tender, part 
Which thou canst touch in every human heart, 
For healing and composure. — But, as least 
And mightiest billows ever have confessed 
Thy domination ; as the whole vast Sea 
Feels through her lowest depths thy sovereignty ; 
So shines that countenance with especial grace 
On them who urge the keel her plains to trace 
Furrowing its way right onward. The most rude, 
Cut off from home and country, may have stood — 
Even till long gazing hath bedimmed his eye, 
Or the mute rapture ended in a sigh — 
Touched by accordance of thy placid cheer, 
"With some internal lights to memory dear, 
Or fancies stealing forth to soothe the breast 
Tired with its daily share of earth's unrest, — 
Gentle awakenings, visitations meek ; 
A kindly influence whereof few will speak, 
Though it can wet with tears the hardiest cheek. 

And when thy beauty in the shadowy cave 
Is hidden, buried in its monthly grave ; 
Then, while the Sailor, mid an open sea 
Swept by a favouring wind that leaves thought free, 
Paces the deck — no star perhaps in sight, 
And nothing save the moving ship's own light 
To cheer the long dark hours of vacant night — 
Oft with his musings does thy image blend, 
In his mind's eye thy crescent horns ascend, 
And thou art still, Moon, that Sailor's Friend ! 

1835. 



140 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XIII. 

TO THE MOON. 

(rydal.) 

Queen of the stars ! — so gentle, so benign, 

That ancient Table did to thee assign, 

When darkness creeping o'er thy silver brow 

Warned thee these npper regions to forego, 

Alternate empire in the shades below — 

A Eard, who, lately near the wide-spread sea 

Traversed by gleaming ships, looked up to thee 

"With grateful thoughts, doth now thy rising hail 

From the close confines of a shadowy vale. 

Glory of night, conspicuous yet serene, 

Nor less attractive when by glimpses seen 

Through cloudy umbrage, well might that fair face, 

And all those attributes of modest grace, 

In days when Fancy wrought unchecked by fear, 

Down to the green earth fetch thee from thy sphere, 

To sit in leafy woods by fountains clear ! 

O still beloved (for thine, meek Power, are charms 
That fascinate the very Babe in arms, 
While he, uplifted towards thee, laughs outright, 
Spreading his little palms in his glad Mother's sight) 
still beloved, once worshipped ! Time, that frowns 
In his destructive flight on earthly crowns, 
Spares thy mild splendour ; still those far-shot beams 
Tremble on dancing waves and rippling streams 
With stainless touch, as chaste as when thy praise 
Was sung by Virgin-choirs in festal lays ; 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 141 

And through dark trials still dost thou explore 
Thy way for increase punctual as of yore, 
When teeming Matrons — yielding to rude faith 
In mysteries of birth and life and death 
And painful struggle and deliverance — prayed 
Of thee to visit them with lenient aid. 
"What though the rites be swept away, the fanes 
Extinct that echoed to the votive strains ; 
Tet thy mild aspect does not, cannot, cease 
Love to promote and purity and peace ; 
And Fancy, unreproved, even yet may trace 
Faint types of suffering in thy beamless face. 
Then, silent Monitress ! let us — not blind 
To worlds unthought of till the searching mind 
Of Science laid them open to mankind — 
Told, also, how the voiceless heavens declare 
God's glory ; and acknowledging thy share 
In that blest charge ; let us — without offence 
To aught of highest, holiest, influence — 
Receive whatever good 'tis given thee to dispense. 
May sage and simple, catching with one eye 
The moral intimations of the sky, 
Learn from thy course, where'er their own be taken, 
' To look on tempests, and be never shaken ; ' 
To keep with faithful step the appointed way 
Eclipsing or eclipsed, by night or day, 
And from example of thy monthly range 
Grently to brook decline and fatal change ; 
Meek, patient, stedfast, and with loftier scope, 
Than thy revival yields, for gladsome hope ! 

1835. 



142 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

XIV. 
TO LUCCA GIORDANO. 

Giordano, verily thy Pencil's skill 
Hath here portrayed with Nature's happiest grace 
The fair Endymion couched on Latmos-hill ; 
And Dian gazing on the Shepherd's face 
In rapture, — yet suspending her embrace, 
As not unconscious with what power the thrill 
Of her most timid touch his sleep would chase, 
And, with his sleep, that beauty calm and still. 
O may this work have found its last retreat 
Here in a Mountain-bard's secure abode, 
One to whom, yet a School-boy, Cynthia showed 
A face of love which he in love would greet, 
Fixed, by her smile, upon some rocky seat ; 
Or lured along where green-wood paths he trod. 
Eydal Mount, 1846. 



"Who but is pleased to watch the moon on high 
Travelling where she from time to time enshrouds 
Her head, and nothing loth her Majesty 
Eenounces, till among the scattered clouds 



EVENING VOLUNTARIES. 143 

One with its kindling edge declares that soon 

Will reappear before the uplifted eye 

A Form as bright, as beautiful a moon, 

To glide in open prospect through clear sky. 

Pity that such a promise e'er should prove 

False in the issue, that yon seeming space 

Of sky should be in truth the stedfast face 

Of a cloud flat and dense, through which must move 

(By transit not unlike man's frequent doom) 

The Wanderer lost in more determined gloom. 

1846. 



XVI. 



Where lies the truth ? has Man, in wisdom's creed, 

A pitiable doom ; for respite brief 

A care more anxious, or a heavier grief? 

Is he ungrateful, and doth little heed 

Grod's bounty, soon forgotten ; or indeed, 

Must Man, with labour born, awake to sorrow 

When Flowers rejoice and Larks with rival speed 

Spring from their nests to bid the Sun good morrow ? 

They mount for rapture as their songs proclaim 

Warbled in hearing both of earth and sky ; 

But o'er the contrast wherefore heave a sigh ? 

Like those aspirants let us soar — our aim, 

Through life's worst trials, whether shocks or snares, 

A happier, brighter, purer Heaven than theirs. 

1846. 



POEMS, 



COMPOSED OR SUGGESTED DURING A TOUR, IN THE 
SUMMER OF 1833. 



[My companions were H . C. Robinson and my son John. ] 

Having been prevented by the lateness of the season, in 1831, from 
visiting Staffa and Iona, the author made these the principal objects 
of a short tour in the summer of 1 833, of which the following series 
of poems is a Memorial. The course pursued was down the Cum- 
berland river Derwent, and to Whitehaven ; thence (by the Isle of 
Man, where a few days were passed) up the Frith of Clyde to 
Greenock, then to Oban, Staffa, Iona ; and back towards England, 
by Loch Awe, Inverary, Loch Goil-head, Greenock, and through 
parts of Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, and Dumfries -shire to Carlisle, 
and thence up the river Eden, and homewards by Ullswater. 



Adieu, Bydalian Laurels ! that have grown 
And spread as if ye knew that days might come 
When ye would shelter in a happy home, 
On this fair Mount, a Poet of your own, 
One who ne'er ventured for a Delphic crown 
To sue the G-od; but, haunting your green shade 
All seasons through, is humbly pleased to braid 
Ground-flowers, beneath your guardianship, self sown. 
Farewell ! no Minstrels now with harp new-strung 
For summer wandering quit their household bowers ; 
Yet not for this wants Poesy a tongue 
To cheer the Itinerant on whom she pours 
Her spirit, while he crosses lonely moors, 
Or musing sits forsaken halls among. 



SONNETS. 145 



II. 



"Why should the Enthusiast, journeying through this 

Isle 
Repine as if his hour were come too late ? 
Not unprotected in her mouldering state, 
Antiquity salutes him with a smile, 
Mid fruitful fields that ring with jocund toil, 
And pleasure-grounds where Taste, refined Co-mate 
Of Truth and Beauty, strives to imitate, 
Far as she may, primeval Nature's style. 
Fair Land ! by Time's parental love made free, 
By Social Order's watchful arms embraced ; 
With unexampled union meet in thee, 
For eye and mind, the present and the past ; 
With golden prospect for futurity, 
If that be reverenced which ought to last. 



in. 



They called Thee Merry England, in old time : 

A happy people won for thee that name 

With envy heard in many a distant clime ; 

And, spite of change, for me thou keep'st the same 

Endearing title, a responsive chime 

To the heart's fond belief; though some there are 

Whose sterner judgments deem that word a snare 

For inattentive Fancy, like the lime 



146 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

"Which foolish birds are caught with. Can, I ask, 
This face of rural beauty be a mask 
For discontent, and poverty, and crime ; 
These spreading towns a cloak for lawless will ? 
Forbid it, Heaven ! — and Merry England still 
Shall be thy rightful name, in prose and rhyme ! 



IV. 



TO THE RIVER GRETA, NEAR KESWICK. 

Greta, what fearful listening ! when huge stones 

Eumble along thy bed, block after block : 

Or, whirling with reiterated shock, 

Combat, while darkness aggravates the groans : 

But if thou (like Cocytus from the moans 

Heard on his rueful margin) thence wert named 

The Mourner, thy true nature was defamed, 

And the habitual murmur that atones 

For thy worst rage, forgotten. Oft as Spring 

Decks, on thy sinuous banks, her thousand thrones, 

Seats of glad instinct and love's carolling, 

The concert, for the happy, then may vie 

With liveliest peals of birth-day harmony : 

To a grieved heart, the notes are benisons. 



SONNETS. 147 



V. 
TO THE RIVER DERWENT. 



Among the mountains were we nursed, loved Stream ! 

Thou near the eagle's nest — within brief sail, 

I, of his bold wing floating on the gale, 

Where thy deep voice could lull me ! Taint the beam 

Of human life when first allowed to gleam 

On mortal notice. — Grlory of the vale, 

Such thy meek outset, with a crown, though frail, 

Kept in perpetual verdure by the steam 

Of thy soft breath !— Less vivid wreath entwined 

ISTemsean's victor's brow ; less bright was worn, 

Meed of some Eoman chief — in triumph borne 

With captives chained ; and shedding from his car 

The sunset splendours of a finished war 

Upon the proud enslavers of mankind ! 



VI. 

IN SIGHT OF THE TOWN OF COCKERMOUTH. 
(Where the Author was born, and his Father's remains are laid.) 

A point of life between my Parent's dust, 
And yours, my buried Little-ones ! ami; 
And to those graves looking habitually 
In kindred quiet I repose my trust. 

l2 



148 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Death to the innocent is more than just, 
And, to the sinner, mercifully bent ; 
So may I hope, if truly I repent 
And meekly bear the ills which bear I must : 
And Tou, my Offspring ! that do still remain, 
Yet may outstrip me in the appointed race, 
If e'er, through fault of mine, in mutual pain 
"We breathed together for a moment's space, 
The wrong, by love provoked, let love arraign, 
And only love keep in your hearts a place. 



VII. 



ADDRESS FROM THE SPIRIT OE COCKERMOUTH CASTLE. 

" Thou look'st upon me, and dost fondly think, 

Poet ! that, stricken as both are by years, 

We, differing once so much, are now Compeers, 

Prepared, when each has stood his time, to sink 

Into the dust. Erewhile a sterner link 

United us ; when thou, in boyish play, 

Entering my dungeon, didst become a prey 

To soul-appalling darkness. JN"ot a blink 

Of light was there ; — and thus did I, thy Tutor, 

Make thy young thoughts acquainted with the grave ; 

"While thou wert chasing the winged butterfly 

Through my green courts ; or climbing, a bold suitor, 

Up to the flowers whose golden progeny 

Still round my shattered brow in beauty wave." 



SONNETS. 149 



VIII. 



NUN S WELL, BRIGHAM. 

[So named from the religious House which stood close by. I have 
rather an odd anecdote to relate of the Nun's Well. One day 
the landlady of a public-house, a field's length from the well, 
on the road side, said to me — " You have been to see tie Nun's 
Well, Sir ?" " The Nun's Well ! what is that ?" said the Postman, 
who in his royal livery stopt his mail-car at the door. The 
landlady and I explained to him what the name meant, and 
what sort of people the nuns were. A countryman who was 
standing by, rather tipsy, stammered out — ' ' Aye, those nuns 
were good people ; they are gone ; but we shall soon have them 
back again." The Reform mania was just then at its height.] 

The cattle crowding round this beverage clear 
To slake their thirst, with reckless hoofs have trod 
The encircling turf into a barren clod ; 
Through which the waters creep, then disappear, 
Born to be lost in Derwent flowing near ; 
Yet, o'er the brink, and round the lime-stone cell 
Of the pure spring (they call it the "Nun's Well," 
Name that first struck by chance my startled ear) 
A tender Spirit broods — the pensive Shade 
Of ritual honours to this Fountain paid 
By hooded Votaresses with saintly cheer ; 
Albeit oft the Virgin-mother mild 
Looked down with pity upon eyes beguiled 
Into the shedding of ' too soft a tear.' 



150 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

IX, 

TO A FRIEND. 
(on THE BANKS OP THE DERWENT.) 

[My son John, who was then building a parsonage on his small living 
at Brigham.] 

Pastor and Patriot ! — at whose bidding rise 
These modest walls, amid a flock that need, 
Por one who comes to watch them and to feed, 
A fixed Abode — keep down presageful sighs. 
Threats, which the unthinking only can despise, 
Perplex the Church ; but be thou firm, — be true 
To thy first hope, and this good work pursue, 
Poor as thou art. A welcome sacrifice 
Dost Thou prepare, whose sign will be the smoke 
Of thy new hearth ; and sooner shall its wreaths, 
Mounting while earth her morning incense breathes, 
Prom wandering fiends of air receive a yoke, 
And straightway cease to aspire, than God disdain 
This humble tribute as ill-timed or vain. 



SONNETS. 151 

X. 

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. 
(LANDING AT THE MOUTH OF THE DERWENT, WORKINGTON.) 

[I will mention for the sake of the friend who is writing down these 
notes, that it was among the fine Scotch firs near Ambleside, 
and particularly those near Green Bank, that I have over and 
over again paused at the sight of this image. Long may they 
stand to afford a like gratification to others ! — This wish is not 
uncalled for, several of their brethren having already dis- 
appeared.] 

Dear to the Loves, and to the Graces vowed, 
The Queen drew back the wimple that she wore ; 
And to the throng, that on the Cumbrian shore 
Her landing hailed, how touchingly she bowed ! 
And like a Star (that, from a heavy cloud 
Of pine-tree foliage poised in air, forth darts, 
"When a soft summer gale at evening parts 
The gloom that did its loveliness enshroud) 
She smiled ; but Time, the old Saturnian seer, 
Sighed on the wing as her foot pressed the strand, 
With step prelusive to a long array 
Of woes and degradations hand in hand — 
Weeping captivity, and shuddering fear 
Stilled by the ensanguined block of Potheringay ! 



152 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XT. 



STANZAS SUGGESTED IN A STEAM-BOAT OFF SAINT 
BEES' HEADS, ON THE COAST OF CUMBERLAND. 

Ir Life were slumber on a bed of down, 
Toil unimposed, vicissitude unknown, 
Sad were our lot : no hunter of the hare 
Exults like him whose javelin from the lair 
Has roused the lion ; no one plucks the rose, 
Whose proffered beauty in safe shelter blows 
'Mid a trim garden's summer luxuries, 
"With joy like his who climbs, on hands and knees, 
For some rare plant, yon Headland of St. Bees. 

This independence upon oar and sail, 
This new indifference to breeze or gale, 
This straight-lined progress, furrowing a flat lea, 
And regular as if locked in certainty — 
Depress the hours. Up, Spirit of the storm ! 
That Courage may find something fco perform ; 
That Fortitude, whose blood disdains to freeze 
At Danger's bidding, may confront the seas, 
Firm as the towering Headlands of St. Bees. 

Dread cliff of Baruth ! that wild wish may sleep, 
Bold as if men and creatures of the Deep 
Breathed the same element ; too many wrecks 
Have struck thy sides, too many ghastly decks 



STANZAS. 153 

Hast thou looked down upon, that such a thought 
Should here be welcome, and in verse enwrought : 
"With thy stern aspect better far agrees 
Utterance of thanks that we have past with ease, 
As millions thus shall do, the Headlands of St. Bees. 

Tet, while each useful Art augments her store, 
What boots the gain if Nature should lose more ? 
And Wisdom, as she holds a Christian place 
In man's intelligence sublimed by grace ? 
When Bega sought of yore the Cumbrian coast, 
Tempestuous winds her holy errand crossed : 
She knelt in prayer — the waves their wrath appease ; 
And, from her vow well weighed in Heaven's decrees, 
Rose, where she touched the strand, the Chantry of St. 
Bees. 

' Cruel of heart were they, bloody of hand,' 
Who in these Wilds then struggled for command ; 
The strong were merciless, without hope the weak ; 
Till this bright Stranger came, fair as day-break, 
And as a cresset true that darts its length 
Of beamy lustre from a tower of strength ; 
Guiding the mariner through troubled seas, 
And cheering oft his peaceful reveries, 
Like the fixed Light that crowns yon Headland of St. 
Bees. 

To aid the Votaress, miracles believed 
Wrought in men's minds, like miracles achieved ; 
So piety took root ; and Song might tell 
What humanizing virtues near her cell 



I5i POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Sprang up, and spread their fragrance wide around ; 

How savage bosoms melted at the sound 

Of gospel-truth enchained in harmonies 

Wafted o'er waves, or creeping through close trees, 

Prom her religious Mansion of St. Bees. 

"When her sweet Yoice, that instrument of love, 

Was glorified, and took its place, above 

The silent stars, among the angelic quire, 

Her chantry blazed with sacrilegious fire, 

And perished utterly ; but her good deeds 

Had sown the spot, that witnessed them, with seeds 

Which lay in earth expectant, till a breeze 

With quickening impulse answered their mute pleas, 

And lo ! a statelier pile, the Abbey of St. Bees. 

There are the naked clothed, the hungry fed ; 

And Charity extendeth to the dead 

Her intercessions made for the soul's rest 

Of tardy penitents ; or for the best 

Among the good (when love might else have slept, 

Sickened, or died) in pious memory kept. 

Thanks to the austere and simple Devotees, 

Who, to that service bound by venial fees, 

Keep watch before the altars of St. Bees. 

Are not, in sooth, their Requiems sacred ties 
Woven out of passion's sharpest agonies, 
Subdued, composed, and formalized by art, 
To fix a wiser sorrow in the heart ? 
The prayer for them whose hour is past away 
Says to the Living, profit while ye may ! 
A little part, and that the worst, he sees 



STANZAS. 155 

Who thinks that priestly cunning holds the keys 
That best unlock the secrets of St. Bees. 

Conscience, the timid being's inmost light, 
Hope of the dawn and solace of the night, 
Cheers these E/ecluses with a steady ray 
In many an hour when judgment goes astray. 
Ah ! scorn not hastily their rule who try 
Earth to despise, and flesh to mortify ; 
Consume with zeal, in winged ecstasies 
Of prayer and praise forget their rosaries, 
Nor hear the loudest surges of St. Eees. 

Yet none so prompt to succour and protect 
The forlorn traveller, or sailor wrecked 
On the bare coast ; nor do they grudge the boon 
"Which staff and cockle hat and sandal shoon 
Claim for the pilgrim : and, though chidings sharp 
May sometimes greet the strolling minstrel's harp, 
It is not then when, swept with sportive ease, 
It charms a feast-day throng of all degrees, 
Brightening the archway of revered St. Bees. 

How did the cliffs and echoing hills rejoice 
What time the Benedictine Brethren's voice, 
Imploring, or commanding with meet pride, 
Summoned the Chiefs to lay their feuds aside, 
And under one blest ensign serve the Lord 
In Palestine. Advance, indignant Sword ! 
Flaming till thou from Panym hands release 
That Tomb, dread centre of all sanctities 
Nursed in the quiet Abbey of St. Bees. 



156 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

But look we now to them whose minds from far 
Follow the fortunes which they may not share. 
"While in Judea Fancy loves to roam, 
She helps to make a Holy-land at home : 
The Star of Bethlehem from its sphere invites 
To sound the crystal depth of maiden rights ; 
And wedded Life, through scriptural mysteries, 
Heavenward ascends with all her charities, 
Taught by the hooded Celibates of St. Bees. 

Nor be it e'er forgotten how, by skill 

Of cloistered Architects, free their souls to fill 

With love of Grod, throughout the Land were raised 

Churches, on whose symbolic beauty gazed 

Peasant and mail-clad Chief with pious awe ; 

As at this day men seeing what they saw, 

Or the bare wreck of faith's solemnities, 

Aspire to more than earthly destinies ; 

"Witness yon Pile that greets us from St. Bees. 

Yet more ; around those Churches, gathered Towns 

Safe from the feudal Castle's haughty frowns ; 

Peaceful abodes, where Justice might uphold 

Her scales with even hand, and culture mould 

The heart to pity, train the mind in care 

For rules of life, sound as the Time could bear. 

Nor dost thou fail, thro' abject love of ease, 

Or hindrance raised by sordid purposes, 

To bear thy part in this good work, St. Bees. 

"Who with the ploughshare clove the barren moors, 
And to green meadows changed the swampy shores ? 



STANZAS. 157 

Thinned the rank woods ; and for the cheerful grange 
Made room, where wolf and boar were used to range ? 
Who taught, and showed by deeds, that gentler chains 
Should bind the vassal to his lord's domains ? — 
The thoughtful Monks, intent their God to please, 
Por Christ's dear sake, by human sympathies 
Poured from the bosom of thy Church, St. Bees ! 

But all availed not ; by a mandate given 
Through lawless will the Brotherhood was driven 
*Forth from their cells ; their ancient House laid low 
In Reformation's sweeping overthrow. 
But now once more the local Heart revives, 
The inextinguishable Spirit strives. 
Oh may that Power who hushed the stormy seas, 
And cleared a way for the first Votaries, 
Prosper the new-born College of St. Bees ! 

Alas ! the G-enius of our age, from Schools 

Less humble, draws her lessons, aims, and rules. 

To Prowess guided by her insight keen 

Matter and Spirit are as one Machine ; 

Boastful Idolatress of formal skill 

She in her own would merge the eternal will : 

Better, if Reason's triumphs match with these, 

Her flight before the bold credulities 

That furthered the first teaching of St. Bees.* 

1833. 

* See Excursion, seventh part; and Ecclesiastical Sketches, second 
part, near the beginning. 



153 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XII. 



IN THE CHANNEL, BETWEEN THE COAST OF CUMBERLAND AND 
THE ISLE OP MAN. 

Ranging- the heights of Scawfell or Black-comb, 
In his lone course the Shepherd oft will pause, 
And strive to fathom the mysterious laws 
By which the clouds, arrayed in light or gloom, 
On Mona settle, and the shapes assume 
Of all her peaks and ridges. What he draws 
Prom sense, faith, reason, fancy, of the cause, 
He will take with him to the silent tomb. 
Or, by his fire, a child upon his knee, 
Haply the untaught Philosopher may speak 
Of the strange sight, nor hide his theory 
That satisfies the simple and the meek, 
Blest in their pious ignorance, though weak 
To cope with Sages undevoutly free. 



XIII. 

AT SEA OFF THE ISLE OF MAN. 



Bold words affirmed, in days when faith was strong 
And doubts and scruples seldom teazed the brain, 
That no adventurer's bark had power to gain 
These shores if he approached them bent on wrong ; 



SONNETS. 159 

For, suddenly up-conjured from the Main, 

Mists rose to hide the Land — that search, though long 

And eager, might be still pursued in vain. 

O Fancy, what an age was that for song ! 

That age, when not by laws inanimate, 

As men believed, the waters were impelled, 

The air controlled, the stars their courses held ; 

But element and orb on acts did wait 

Of Powers endued with visible form, instinct 

"With will, and to their work by passion linked. 



XIV. 



Desire we past illusions to recal ? 

To reinstate wild Fancy, would we hide 

Truths whose thick veil Science has drawn aside ? 

No, — let this Age, high as she may, instal 

In her esteem the thirst that wrought man's fall, 

The universe is infinitely wide ; 

And conquering Eeason, if self-glorified, 

Can nowhere move uncrossed by some new wall 

Or gulf of mystery, which thou alone, 

Imaginative Faith ! canst overleap, 

In progress toward the fount of Love, — the throne 

Of Power whose ministers the records keep 

Of periods fixed, and laws established, less 

Flesh to exalt than prove its nothingness. 



160 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XV. 

ON ENTERING DOUGLAS BAY, ISLE OF MAN. 
' Dignum laude virum Musa vetat mori.' 

The feudal Keep, the bastions of Cohorn, 
Even when they rose to check or to repel 
Tides of aggressive war, oft served as well 
Greedy ambition, armed to treat with scorn 
Just limits ; but yon Tower, whose smiles adorn 
This perilous bay, stands clear of all offence ; 
Blest work it is of love and innocence, 
A Tower of refuge built for the else forlorn. 
Spare it, ye waves, and lift the mariner, 
Struggling for life, into its saving arms ! 
Spare, too, the human helpers ! Do they stir 
'Mid your fierce shock like men afraid to die ? 
No ; their dread service nerves the heart it warms, 
And they are led by noble Hillary*. 



xvi. 

BY THE SEA-SHORE, ISLE OF MAN. 



Why stand we gazing on the sparkling Brine, 
With wonder smit by its transparency, 
And all-enraptured with its purity ? — 
Because the unstained, the clear, the crystalline, 



* See Note. 



SONNETS. 161 

Have ever in them something of benign ; 
"Whether in gem, in water, or in sky, 
A sleeping infant's brow, or wakeful eye 
Of a young maiden, only not divine. 
Scarcely the hand forbears to dip its palm 
For beverage drawn as from a mountain-well ; 
Temptation centres in the liquid Calm ; 
Our daily raiment seems no obstacle 
To instantaneous plunging in, deep Sea ! 
And revelling in long embrace with thee*. 



XVII. 



ISLE OF MAN. 



[My son William is here the person alluded to as saving the life of the 
youth, and the circumstances were as mentioned in the Sonnet.] 

A youth too certain of his power to wade 

On the smooth bottom of this clear bright sea, 

To sight so shallow, with a bather's glee 

Leapt from this rock, and but for timely aid 

He, by the alluring element betrayed, 

Had perished. Then might Sea-nymphs (and with sighs 

Of self-reproach) have chanted elegies 

Bewailing his sad fate, when he was laid 

* The sea-water on the coast of the Isle of Man is singularly pure and 
beautiful. 



162 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

In peaceful earth : for, doubtless, he was frank, 

Utterly in himself devoid of guile ; 

Knew not the double-dealing of a smile ; 

Nor aught that makes men's promises a blank, 

Or deadly snare : and He survives to bless 

The Power that saved him in his strange distress. 



xvin. 



ISLE OF MAN. 



Did pangs of grief for lenient time too keen, 

Grief that devouring waves had caused, or guilt 

Which they had witnessed — sway the man who built 

This Homestead, placed where nothing could be seen, 

Nought heard, of ocean troubled or serene ? 

A tired Ship-soldier on paternal land, 

That o'er the channel holds august command, 

The dwelling raised, — a veteran Marine. 

He, in disgust, turned from the neighbouring sea 

To shun the memory of a listless life 

That hung between two callings. May no strife 

More hurtful here beset him, doomed though free, 

Self-doomed, to worse inaction, till his eye 

Shrink from the daily sight of earth and sky ! 



SONNETS. 163 



XIX. 
BY A RETIRED MARINER. H. H. 

[Mrs. Wordsworth's Brother, Henry.] 

Prom early youth I ploughed the restless Main, 

My mind as restless and as apt to change ; 

Through every clime and ocean did I range, 

In hope at length a competence to gain ; 

For poor to Sea I went, and poor I still remain. 

Year after year I strove, but strove in vain, 

And hardships manifold did I endure, 

For Fortune on me never deigned to smile ; 

Yet I at last a resting-place have found, 

With just enough life's comforts to procure, 

In a snug Cove on this our favoured Isle, 

A peaceful spot where Nature's gifts abound ; 

Then sure I have no reason to complain, 

Though poor to Sea I went, and poor I still remain. 



xx. 

AT BA LA-SAL A, ISLE OP MAN. 



[Supposed to be written by a friend (Mr. Cookson) who died there a 
few years after.] 

Beoken in fortune, but in mind entire 
And sound in principle, I seek repose 
Where ancient trees this convent-pile enclose*, 
In ruin beautiful. When vain desire 

* Rushen Abbey. 

M 2 



164 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Intrudes on peace, I pray the eternal Sire 

To cast a soul-subduing shade on me, 

A grey-haired, pensive, thankful Eefugee ; 

A shade — but with some sparks of heavenly fire 

Once to these cells vouchsafed. And when I note 

The old Tower's brow yellowed as with the beams 

Of sunset ever there, albeit streams 

Of stormy weather-stains that semblance wrought, 

I thank the silent Monitor, and say 

" Shine so, my aged brow, at all hours of the day! " 



XXI. 



TYNWALD HILL. 



[Mr. Robinson and I walked the greater part of the way from 
Castle-town to Piel, and stopped some time at Tynwald Hill. 
One of my companions was an elderly man who, in a muddy way 
(for he was tipsy, ) explained and answered, as far as he could, 
my enquiries about this place and the ceremonies held here. I 
found more agreeable company in some little children ; one of 
whom, upon my request, recited the Lord's Prayer to me, and 
I helped her to a clearer understanding of it as well as I could ; 
"but I was not at all satisfied with my own part ; hers was 
much better done, and I am persuaded that, like other children, 
she knew more about it than she was able to express, especially 
to a stranger.] 

Once on the top of Tynwald' s formal mound 
(Still marked with green turf circles narrowing 
Stage above stage) would sit this Island's King, 
The laws to promulgate, enrobed and crowned ; 



SONNETS. 165 

"While, compassing the little mount around, 
Degrees and Orders stood, each under each : 
Now, like to things within fate's easiest reach, 
The power is merged, the pomp a grave has found. 
Off with yon cloud, old Snafell ! that thine eye 
Over three Eealms may take its widest range ; 
And let, for them, thy fountains utter strange 
Voices, thy winds break forth in prophecy, 
If the whole State must suffer mortal change, 
Like Mona's miniature of sovereignty. 



XXII. 

Despond who will — J heard a voice exclaim, 

" Though fierce the assault, and shatter' d the defence, 

It cannot be that Britain's social frame, 

The glorious work of time and providence, 

Before a flying season's rash pretence, 

Should fall ; that She, whose virtue put to shame, 

"When Europe prostrate lay, the Conqueror's aim, 

Should perish, self-subverted. Black and dense 

The cloud is ; bub brings that a day of doom 

To Liberty ? Her sun is up the while, 

That orb whose beams round Saxon Alfred shone : 

Then laugh, ye innocent Vales ! ye Streams, sweep on, 

Nor let one billow of our heaven-blest Isle 

Toss in the fanning wind a humbler plume." 



166 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XXIII. 

IN THE FRITH OF CLYDE, AILSA CRAG. 

DURING AN ECLIPSE OP THE SUN, JULY 17. 

[The morning of the eclipse was exquisitely beautiful while we 
passed the Crag as described in the Sonnet. On the deck of 
the steam -boat were several persons of the poor and labouring 
class, and I could not but be struck by their cheerful talk with 
each other, while not one of them seemed to notice the magnificent 
objects with which we were surrounded ; and even the pheno- 
menon of the eclipse attracted but little of their attention. Was 
it right not to regret this ? They appeared to me, however, 
so much alive in their own minds to their own concerns that I 
could not look upon it as a misfortune that they had little 
perception for such pleasures as cannot be cultivated with- 
out ease and leisure. Yet, if one surveys life in all its 
duties and relations, such ease and leisure will not be found so 
enviable a privilege as it may at first appear. Natural Philo- 
sophy, Painting, and Poetry, and refined taste, are no doubt 
great acquisitions to society ; but, among those who dedicate 
themselves to such pursuits, it is to be feared that few are as 
happy, and as consistent in the management of their lives, as 
the class of persons who at that time led me into this course of 
reflection. I do not mean by this to be understood to derogate 
from intellectual pursuits, for that would be monstrous : I say 
it in deep gratitude for this compensation to those whose cares are 
limited to the necessities of daily life. Among them, self-tor- 
mentors, so numerous in the higher classes of society, are rare.] 

Since risen from ocean, ocean to defy, 
Appeared the crag of Ailsa, ne'er did morn 
With gleaming lights more gracefully adorn 
His sides, or wreathe with mist his forehead high : 
Now, faintly darkening with the sun's eclipse, 
Still is he seen, in lone sublimity, 
Towering above the sea and little ships ; 
For dwarfs the tallest seem while sailing by, 



SONNETS. 167 

Each for her haven ; with her freight of Care, 

Pleasure, or Grief, and Toil that seldom looks 

Into the secret of to-morrow's fare ; 

Though poor, yet rich, without the wealth of books, 

Or aught that watchful Love to Nature owes 

For her mute Powers, fixed Forms, or transient Shows. 



XXIV. 

on the frith of clyde, 
(in a steam-boat.) 



[The mountain outline on the north of this island, as seen from the 
Frith of Clyde, is much the finest I have ever noticed in Scot- 
land or elsewhere.] 

Aeran" ! a single-crested Teneriffe, 
A St. Helena next — in shape and hue, 
Varying her crowded peaks and ridges blue \ 
"Who but must covet a cloud-seat, or skiff 
Built for the air, or winged Hippogriff ? 
That he might fly, where no one could pursue, 
Prom this dull Monster and her sooty crew ; 
And, as a Grod, light on thy topmost cliff. 
Impotent wish ! which reason would despise 
If the mind knew no union of extremes, 
No natural bond between the boldest schemes 
Ambition frames, and heart-humilities. 
Beneath stern mountains many a soft vale lies, 
And lofty springs give birth to lowly streams. 



168 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATIOX. 



XXV. 

ON REVISITING DUNOLLY CASTLE. 
[See former series, "Yarrow Revisited," &c., p. 104.] 

The captive Bird was gone ; — to cliff or moor 

Perchance had flown, delivered by the storm ; 

Or he had pined, and sunk to feed the worm : 

Him found we not : hut, climbing a tall tower, 

There saw, impaved with rude fidelity 

Of art mosaic, in a roofless floor , 

An Eagle with stretched wings, but beamless eye- 

An Eagle that could neither wail nor soar. 

Effigy of the Vanished — (shall I dare 

To call thee so ?) or symbol of fierce deeds 

And of the towering courage which past times 

Rejoiced in — take, whate'er thou be, a share, 

Not undeserved, of the memorial rhymes 

That animate my way where'er it leads ! 



xxvr. 

THE DUNOLLY EAGLE. 



Not to the clouds, not to the cliff, he flew ; 
But when a storm, on sea or mountain bred. 
Came and delivered him, alone he sped 
Into the castle-dungeon's darkest mew. 



WRITTEN IN A BLANK LEAF OF MACPHERSON'S OSSIAN. 169 

Now, near his master's house in open view 
He dwells, and hears indignant tempests howl, 
Kennelled and chained. Te tame domestic fowl, 
Beware of him ! Thou, saucy cockatoo, 
Look to thy plumage and thy life ! — The roe, 
Meet as the west wind, is for him no quarry ; 
Balanced in ether he will never tarry, 
Eyeing the sea's blue depths. Poor Bird ! even so 
Doth man of brother man a creature make 
That clings to slavery for its own sad sake. 



XXVII. 

WRITTEN IN A BLANK LEAF OF MACPHERSON'S 
OSSIAN. 

[The verses — 

or strayed 
From hope and promise, self-betrayed. 

were, I am sorry to say, suggested from apprehensions of the 
fate of my friend, H. C, the subject of the verses addressed to 
H. 0. when six years old. The piece to ' ' Memory " arose out 
of similar feelings.] 

Oft have I caught, upon a fitful breeze, 
Fragments of far-off melodies, 
With ear not coveting the whole, 
A part so charmed the pensive soul : 
While a dark storm before my sight 
"Was yielding, on a mountain height 
Loose vapours have I watched, that won 
Prismatic colours from the sun ; 
!N"or felt a wish that heaven would show^ 
The image of its perfect bow. 



170 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

"What need, then, of these finished Strains ? 

Away with counterfeit Eemains ! 

An abbey in its lone recess, 

A temple of the wilderness, 

Wrecks though they be, announce with feeling 

The majesty of honest dealing. 

Spirit of Ossian ! if imbound 

In language thou may'st yet be found, 

If aught (intrusted to the pen 

Or floating on the tongues of men, 

Albeit shattered and impaired) 

Subsist thy dignity to guard, 

In concert with memorial claim 

Of old grey stone, and high-born name 

That cleaves to rock or pillared cave 

Where moans the blast, or beats the wave, 

Let Truth, stern arbitress of all, 
Interpret that Original, 
And for presumptuous wrongs atone ;— 
Authentic words be given, or none ! 
Time is not blind ; — yet He, who spares 
Pyramid pointing to the stars, 
Hath preyed with ruthless appetite 
On all that marked the primal flight 
Of the poetic ecstasy 
Into the land of mystery. 
No tongue is able to rehearse 
One measure, Orpheus ! of thy verse ; 
Musseus, stationed with his lyre 
Supreme among the Elysian quire, 
Is, for the dwellers upon earth, 
Mute as a lark ere morning's birth. 



WRITTEN IN A BLANK LEAF OF MACPHERSON'S OSSIAN. 171 

Why grieve for these, though past away 
The music, and extinct the lay ? 
When thousands, by severer doom, 
Full early to the silent tomb 
Have sunk, at Nature's call ; or strayed 
From hope and promise, self-betrayed ; 
The garland withering on their brows ; 
Stung with remorse for broken vows ; 
Frantic — else how might they rejoice ? 
And friendless, by their own sad choice ! 
Hail, Bards of mightier grasp ! on you 
I chiefly call, the chosen Few, 
Who cast not off the acknowledged guide, 
Who faltered not, nor turned aside ; 
Whose lofty genius could survive 
Privation, under sorrow thrive ; 
In whom the fiery Muse revered 
The symbol of a snow-white beard, 
Bedewed with meditative tears 
Dropped from the lenient cloud of years. 
Brothers in soul ! though distant times 
Produced you nursed in various climes, 
Ye, when the orb of life had waned, 
A plenitude of love retained : 
Hence, while in you each sad regret 
By corresponding hope was met, 
Ye lingered among human kind, 
Sweet voices for the passing wind ; 
Departing sunbeams, loth to stop, 
Though smiling on the last hill top ! 
Such to the tender-hearted maid 
Even ere her joys begin to fade ; 



172 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Such, haply, to the rugged chief 
By fortune crushed, or tamed by grief; 
Appears, on Morven's lonely shore, 
Dim-gleaming through imperfect lore, 
The Son of Fingal ; such was blind 
Mseonides of ampler mind ; 
Such Milton, to the fountain head 
Of glory by Urania led ! 



1824. 



CAVE OF STAFFA. 



We saw, but surely, in the motley crowd, 

Not One of us has felt the far-famed sight ; 

How could we feel it ? each the other's blight, 

Hurried and hurrying, volatile and loud. 

for those motions only that invite 

The Grhost of Fingal to his tuneful Cave 

By the breeze entered, and wave after wave 

Softly embosoming the timid light ! 

And by one Votary who at will might stand 

Grazing and take into his mind and heart, 

"With undistracted reverence, the effect 

Of those proportions where the almighty hand 

That made the worlds, the sovereign Architect, 

Has deigned to work as if with human Art ! 



BONNETS. 173 



XXIX. 

CAVE OF STAFFA. 
AFTER THE CROWD HAP DEPARTED. 

Thanks for the lessons of this Spot — fit school 
For the presumptuous thoughts that would assign 
Mechanic laws to agency divine ; 
And, measuring heaven by earth, would overrule 
Infinite Power. The pillared vestibule, 
Expanding yet precise, the roof embowed, 
Might seem designed to humble man, when proud 
Of his best workmanship by plan and tool. 
Down-bearing with his whole Atlantic weight 
Of tide and tempest on the Structure's base, 
And flashing to that Structure's topmost height, 
Ocean has proved its strength, and of its grace 
In calms is conscious, finding for his freight 
Of softest music some responsive place. 



xxx. 

CAVE OF STAFFA. 



Ye shadowy Beings, that have rights and claims 
In every cell of Fingal's mystic Grot, 
Where are ye ? Driven or venturing to the spot, 
Our fathers glimpses caught of your thin Frames, 



174 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

And, by your mien and bearing, knew your names ; 

And they could hear Ms ghostly song who trod 

Earth, till the flesh lay on him like a load, 

While he struck his desolate harp without hopes or aims. 

Vanished ye are, but subject to recal ; 

Why keep we else the instincts whose dread law 

Euled here of yore, till what men felt they saw, 

Not by black arts but magic natural ! 

If eyes be still sworn vassals of belief, 

Ton light shapes forth a Bard, that shade a Chief. 



XXXI. 

FLOWERS ON THE TOP OF THE PILLARS AT THE ENTRANCE OF 
THE CAVE. 

Hope smiled when your nativity was cast, 
Children of Summer ! Ye fresh Mowers that brave 
What Summer here escapes not, the fierce wave, 
And whole artillery of the western blast, 
Battering the Temple's front, its long-drawn nave 
Smiting, as if each moment w r ere their last. 
But ye, bright Flowers, on frieze and architrave 
Survive, and once again the Pile stands fast : 
Calm as the Universe, from specular towers 
Of heaven contemplated by Spirits pure 
With mute astonishment, it stands sustained 
Through every part in symmetry, to endure, 
Unhurt, the assault of Time with all his hours, 
As the supreme Artificer ordained. 



SONNETS. 175 



XXXII. 
IONA. 



On to Iona ! — "What can she afford 

To us save matter for a thoughtful sigh, 

Heaved over ruin with stability 

In urgent contrast ? To diffuse the "Word 

(Thy Paramount, mighty Nature ! and Time's Lord) 

Her Temples rose, 'mid pagan gloom ; but why, 

Even for a moment, has our verse deplored 

Their wrongs, since they fulfilled their destiny ? 

And when, subjected to a common doom 

Of mutability, those far-famed Piles 

Shall disappear from both the sister Isles, 

Iona's Saints, forgetting not past days, 

Garlands shall wear of amaranthine bloom, 

"While heaven's vast sea of voices chants their praise. 



XXXIII. 



(upon landing.) 



How sad a welcome ! To each voyager 
Some ragged child holds up for sale a store 
Of wave-worn pebbles, pleading on the shore 
"Where once came monk and nun with gentle stir, 



176 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Blessings to give, news ask, or suit prefer. 

Yet is yon neat trim church a grateful speck 

Of novelty amid the sacred wreck 

Strewn far and wide. Think, proud Philosopher ! 

Fallen though she be, this Glory of the west, 

Still on her sons, the beams of mercy shine ; 

And ' hopes, perhaps more heavenly bright than thine, 

A grace by thee unsought and unpossest, 

A faith more fixed, a rapture more divine, 

Shall gild their passage to eternal rest.' 



xxxrv. 

THE BLACK STONES OP IONA. 

[See Martin's Voyage among the Western Isles ] 

Here on their knees men swore: the stones were black, 

Black in the people's minds and words, yet they 

Were at that time, as now, in colour grey. 

But what is colour, if upon the rack 

Of conscience souls are placed by deeds that lack 

Concord with oaths ? "What differ night and day 

Then, when before the Perjured on his way 

Hell opens, and the heavens in vengeance crack 

Above his head uplifted in vain prayer 

To Saint, or Piend, or to the Godhead whom 

He had insulted — Peasant, King, or Thane ? 

Ply where the culprit may, guilt meets a doom ; 

And, from invisible worlds at need laid bare, 

Come links for social order's awful chain. 



SONNETS. 177 



XXXV. 



Homeward we turn. Isle of Columba's Cell, 
"Where Christian piety's soul-cheering spark 
(Kindled from Heaven between the light and dark 
Of time) shone like the morning- star, farewell ! — 
And fare thee well, to Fancy visible, 
Eemote St. Kilda, lone and loved sea-mark 
For many a voyage made in her swift bark, 
"When with more hues than in the rainbow dwell 
Thou a mysterious intercourse dost hold, 
Extracting from clear skies and air serene, 
And out of sun-bright waves, a lucid veil, 
That thickens, spreads, and, mingling fold with fold, 
Makes known, when thou no longer canst be seen, 
Thy whereabout, to warn the approaching sail. 



xxxvi. 

GREENOCK. 
Per me si va nella Citta doleute. 



We have not passed into a doleful City, 
"We who were led to-day down a grim dell, 
By some too boldly named ' the Jaws of Hell : ' 
Where be the wretched ones, the sights for pity f 
These crowded streets resound no plaintive ditty 
As from the hive where bees in summer dwell, 
Sorrow seems here excluded ; and that knell, 
It neither damps the gay, nor checks the witty. 



178 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Alas ! too busy Bival of old Tyre, 

Whose merchants Princes were, whose decks were 

thrones ; 
Soon may the punctual sea in vain respire 
To serve thy need, in union with that Clyde 
Whose nursling current brawls o'er mossy stones, 
The poor, the lonely, herdsman's joy and pride. 



XXXVII. 

[Mosgiel was thus pointed out to me by a young man on the top of 
the coach on my way from Glasgow to Kilmarnock. It is 
remarkable that, though Burns lived some time here, and 
during much the most productive period of his poetical life, he 
nowhere adverts to the splendid prospects stretching towards 
the sea and bounded by the peaks of Arran on one part, which 
in clear weather he must have had daily before his eyes. In 
one of his poetical effusions he speaks of describing ' ' fair 
Nature's face" as a privilege on which he sets a high value ; 
nevertheless, natural appearances rarely take a lead in his 
poetry. It is as a human being, eminently sensitive and 
intelligent, and not as a poet, clad in his priestly robes and 
carrying the ensigns of sacerdotal office, that he interests and 
affects us. Whether he speaks of rivers, hills and woods, it 
is not so much on account of the properties with which they 
are absolutely endowed, as relatively to local patriotic remem- 
brances and associations, or as they ministered to personal 
feelings, especially those of love, whether happy or otherwise ; 
— yet it is not always so. Soon after we had passed Mosgiel 
Farm we crossed the Ayr, murmuring and winding through 
a narrow woody hollow. His line — ' ' Auld hermit Ayr strays 
through his woods " — came at once to my mind with Irwin, 
Lugar, Ayr, and Doon, — Ayrshire streams over which he 
breathes a sigh as being unnamed in song ; and surely his 
own attempts to make them known were as successful as his 
heart could desire.] 

" There ! " said a Stripling, pointing with meet pride 
Towards a low roof with green trees half concealed, 



SONNETS. 179 

" Is Mosgiel Farm ; and that's the very field 
Where Burns ploughed up the Daisy." Par and wide 
A plain below stretched seaward, while, descried 
Above sea-clouds, the Peaks of Arran rose ; 
And, by that simple notice, the repose 
Of earth, sky, sea, and air, was vivified. 
Beneath ' the random Held of clod or stone ' 
Myriads of daisies have shone forth in flower 
Near the lark's nest, and in their natural hour 
Have passed away ; less happy than the One 
That, by the unwilling ploughshare, died to prove 
The tender charm of poetry and love. 



XXXVIII. 
THE RIVER EDEN, CUMBERLAND. 

["Nature gives thee flowers That have no rivals among British 
bowers." This can scarcely be true to the letter ; but, without 
stretching the point at all, I can say that the soil and air 
appear more congenial with many upon the banks of this river 
than I have observed in any other parts of Great Britain.] 

Edeis- ! till now thy beauty had I viewed 
By glimpses only, and confess with shame 
That verse of mine, whate'er its varying mood, 
Eepeats but once the sound of thy sweet name : 
Yet fetched from Paradise that honour came, 
Rightfully borne ; for Nature gives thee flowers 
That have no rivals among British bowers ; 
And thy bold rocks are worthy of their fame. 
Measuring thy course, fair Stream ! at length I pay 
To my life's neighbour dues of neighbourhood ; 

«2 



180 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

But I have traced thee on thy winding way 

With pleasure sometimes by this thought restrained— 

For things far off we toil, while many a good 

Not sought, because too near, is never gained. 



xxxix. 

MONUMENT OF MRS. HOWARD, 

(by Noilekens,) 

IN WETHERAL CHURCH, NEAR CORBY, ON THE BANKS OP THE 
EDEN. 

[Before this monument was put up in the Church at Wetheral, I 
saw it in the sculptor's studio. Noilekens, who by the bye was 
a strange and grotesque figure that interfered much with one's 
admiration of his works, showed me at the same time the various 
models in clay which he had made, one after another, of the 
Mother and her Infant : the improvement on each was surprising ; 
and how so much grace, beauty, and tenderness had come out of 
such a head I was sadly puzzled to conceive. Upon a window- 
seat in his parlour lay two casts of faces, one of the Duchess of 
Devonshire, so noted in her day ; and the other of Mr. Pitt, 
taken after his death, a ghastly resemblance, as these things 
always are, even when taken from the living subject, and more 
ghastly in this instance from the peculiarity of the features. 
The heedless and apparently neglectful manner in which the 
faces of these two persons were left — the one so distinguished 
in London society, and the other upon whose counsels and public 
conduct, during a most momentous period, depended the fate 
of this great Empire and perhaps of all Europe — afforded a 
lesson to which the dullest of casual visitors could scarcely be 
insensible. It touched me the more because I had so often seen 
Mr. Pitt upon his own ground at Cambridge and upon the floor 
of the House of Commons.] 

Stretched on the dying Mother's lap, lies dead 
Her new-born Eabe ; dire ending of bright hope ! 
But Sculpture here, with the divinest scope 
Of luminous faith, heavenward hath raised that head 



SONNETS. 181 

So patiently ; and through one hand has spread 
A touch so tender for the insensate Child — 
(Earth's lingering love to parting reconciled, 
Brief parting, for the spirit is all but fled) — 
That we, who contemplate the turns of life 
Through this still medium, are consoled and cheered ; 
Peel with the Mother, think the severed "Wife 
Is less to be lamented than revered ; 
And own that Art, triumphant over strife 
And pain, hath powers to Eternity endeared. 



XL. 

SUGGESTED BY THE FOREGOING. 



Tranquillity ! the sovereign aim wert thou 

In heathen schools of philosophic lore ; 

Heart-stricken by stern destiny of yore 

The Tragic Muse thee served with thoughtful vow ; 

And what of hope Elysium could allow 

"Was fondly seized by Sculpture, to restore 

Peace to the Mourner. But when He who wore 

The crown of thorns around his bleeding brow 

Warmed our sad being with celestial light, 

Then Arts which still had drawn a softening grace 

Erom shadowy fountains of the Infinite, 

Communed with that Idea face to face : 

And move around it now as planets run, 

Each in its orbit round the central Sun. 



182 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XLI. 



[I became acquainted with the walks of Nunnery when a boy : they 
are within easy reach of a day's pleasant excursion from the 
town of Penrith, where I used to pass my summer holidays 
under the roof of my maternal Grandfather. The place is 
well worth visiting ; though, within these few years, its privacy, 
and therefore the pleasure which the scene is so well fitted to 
give, has been injuriously affected by walks cut in the rocks on 
that side the stream which had been left in its natural state.] 

The floods are roused, and will not soon be weary ; 
Down from the Pennine Alps * how fiercely sweeps 
Ceoglin, the stately Eden's tributary ! 
He raves, or through some moody passage creeps 
Plotting new mischief — out again he leaps 
Into broad light, and sends, through regions airy, 
That voice which soothed the Nuns while on the steeps 
They knelt in prayer, or sang to blissful Mary. 
That union ceased : then, cleaving easy walks 
Through crags, and smoothing paths beset with danger, 
Came studious Taste ; and many a pensive stranger 
Dreams on the banks, and to the river talks. 
"What change shall happen next to Nunnery Dell ? 
Canal, and Viaduct, and Railway, tell ! 

* The chain of Crossfell. 



SONNETS. 183 



XLII. 



STEAMBOATS, VIADUCTS, AND RAILWAYS. 

Motions and Means, on land and sea at war 

With old poetic feeling, not for this, 

Shall ye, by Poets even, be judged amiss ! 

Nor shall your presence, howsoe'er it mar 

The loveliness of Nature, prove a bar 

To the Mind's gaining that prophetic sense 

Of future change, that point of vision, whence 

May be discovered what in soul ye are. 

In spite of all that beauty may disown 

In your harsh features, Nature doth embrace 

Her lawful offspring in Man's art ; and Time, 

Pleased with your triumphs o'er his brother Space, 

Accepts from your bold hands the proffered crown 

Of hope, and smiles on you with cheer sublime. 



XLIII. 

THE MONUMENT COMMONLY CALLED LONG MEG AND HER 
DAUGHTERS, NEAR THE RIVER EDEN. 

A weight of awe, not easy to be borne, 
Pell suddenly upon my Spirit — cast 
Prom the dread bosom of the unknown past, 
"When first I saw that family forlorn. 



181 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Speak Thou, whose massy strength and stature scorn 
The power of years — pre-eminent, and placed 
Apart, to overlook the circle vast — 
Speak, Griant-m other ! tell it to the Morn 
While she dispels the cumbrous shades of Night ; 
Let the Moon hear, emerging from a cloud ; 
At whose behest uprose on British ground 
That Sisterhood, in hieroglyphic round 
Forth-shadowing, some have deemed, the infinite 
The inviolable God, that tames the proud*! 



["Cathedral pomp." It may be questioned whether this union 
was in the contemplation of the artist when he planned the 
edifice. However this might be, a poet may be excused for 
taking the view of the subject presented in this Sonnet.] 

Lowthee, ! in thy majestic Pile are seen 
Cathedral pomp and grace, in apt accord 
With the baronial castle's sterner mien ; 
Union significant of Grod adored, 
And charters won and guarded by the sword 
Of ancient honour ; whence that goodly state 
Of polity which wise men venerate, 
And will maintain, if God his help afford. 
Hourly the democratic torrent swells ; 
For airy promises and hopes suborned 

* See Note. 



SONNETS. 185 



The strength of backward-looking thoughts is scorned. 
Fall if ye must, ye Towers and Pinnacles, 
"With what ye symbolise ; authentic Story 
Will say, Te disappeared with England's Glory ! 



XLV. 

TO THE EARL OF LONSDALE. 

' Magistrates indicat virum.' 

Lonsdale ! it were unworthy of a Gruest, 
Whose heart with gratitude to thee inclines, 
If he should speak, by fancy touched, of signs 
On thy Abode harmoniously imprest, 
Yet be unmoved with wishes to attest 
How in thy mind and moral frame agree 
Fortitude, and that Christian Charity 
Which, filling, consecrates the human breast. 
And if the Motto on thy 'scutcheon teach 
With truth, ' The Magistracy shows the Man ; 
That searching test thy public course has stood ; 
As will be owned alike by bad and good, 
Soon as the measuring of life's little span 
Shall place thy virtues out of Envy's reach *. 

* See Note. 



186 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION 



XLYI. 

THE SOMNAMBULIST. 

[This poem might be dedicated to my friends, Sir Gr. Beaumont and 
Mr. Rogers jointly. "While we were making an excursion 
together in this part of the Lake District we heard that Mr. 
Glover, the artist, while lodging at Lyulph's Tower, had been 
disturbed by a loud shriek, and upon rising he had learnt that 
it had come from a young woman in the house who was in the 
habit of walking in her sleep. In that state she had gone down 
stairs, and, while attempting to open the outer door, either 
from some difficulty or the effect of the cold stone upon her feet, 
had uttered the cry which alarmed him. It seemed to us all 
that this might serve as a hint for a poem, and the story here 
told was constructed and soon after put into verse by me as it 
now stands.] 

List, ye who pass by Lyulph's Tower* 

At eve ; how softly then 
Doth Aira-force, that torrent hoarse, 

Speak from the woody glen ! 
Pit music for a solemn vale ! 

And holier seems the ground 
To him who catches on the gale 
The spirit of a mournful tale, 

Embodied in the sound. 

Not far from that fair site whereon 

The Pleasure-house is reared, 
As story says, in antique days 

A stern-browed house appeared ; 
Poil to a Jewel rich in light 

* A pleasure-house built by the late Duke of Norfolk upon the banks of 
Ullswater. Force is the word used in the Lake District for Water-fall. 



THE SOMNAMBULIST. 187 

There set, and guarded well ; 
Cage for a Bird of plumage bright, 
Sweet-voiced, nor wishing for a flight 

Beyond her native dell. 

To win this bright Bird from her cage, 

To make this Gem their own, 
Came Barons bold, with store of gold, 

And Knights of high renown ; 
But one She prized, and only one ; 

Sir Eglamore was he ; 
Full happy season, when was known, 
Ye Dales and Hills ! to you alone 

Their mutual loyalty — 

Known chiefly, Aira ! to thy glen, 

Thy brook, and bowers of holly ; 
Where Passion caught what Nature taught, 

That all but love is folly ; 
Where Fact with Fancy stooped to play ; 

Doubt came not, nor regret — 
To trouble hours that winged their way, 
As if through an immortal day 

Whose sun could never set. 

But in old times Love dwelt not long 

Sequestered with repose ; 
Best throve the fire of chaste desire, 

Panned by the breath of foes. 
" A conquering lance is beauty's test, 

" And proves the Lover true ;" 
So spake Sir Eglamore, and pressed 
The drooping Emma to his breast, 

And looked a blind adieu. 



188 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

They parted. — "Well with him it fared 

Through wide-spread regions errant ; 
A knight of proof in love's behoof, 

The thirst of fame his warrant : 
And She her happiness can build 

On woman's quiet hours ; 
Though faint, compared with spear and shield, 
The solace beads and masses yield, 

And needlework and flowers. 

Tet blest was Emma when she heard 

Her Champion's praise recounted ; 
Though brain would swim, and eyes grow dim, 

And high her blushes mounted ; 
Or when a bold heroic lay 

She warbled from full heart ; 
Delightful blossoms for the May 
Of absence ! but they will not stay, 

Born only to depart. 

Hope wanes with her, while lustre fills 

Whatever path he chooses ; 
As if his orb, that owns no curb, 

Received the light hers loses. 
He comes not back ; an ampler space 

Requires for nobler deeds ; 
He ranges on from place to place, 
Till of his doings is no trace, 

But what her fancy breeds. 

His fame may spread, but in the past 

Her spirit finds its centre ; 
Clear sight She has of what he was, 

And that would now content her. 



THE SOMNAMBULIST. 189 

" Still is he my devoted Knight ?" 

The tear in answer flows ; 
Month falls on month with heavier weight ; 
Day sickens round her, and the night 

Is empty of repose. 

In sleep She sometimes walked abroad, 

Deep sighs with quick words blending, 
Like that pale Queen whose hands are seen 

With fancied spots contending ; 
But she is innocent of blood, — 

The moon is not more pure 
That shines aloft, while through the wood 
She thrids her way, the sounding Mood 

Her melancholy lure ! 

While 'mid the fern-brake sleeps the doe, 

And owls alone are waking, 
In white arrayed, glides on the Maid 

The downward pathway taking, 
That leads her to the torrent's side 

And to a holly bower ; 
By whom on this still night descried ? 
By whom in that lone place espied ? 

By thee, Sir Eglamore ! 

A wandering Ghost, so thinks the Knight, 

His coming step has thwarted, 
Beneath the boughs that heard their vows, 

Within whose shade they parted. 
Hush, hush, the busy Sleeper see ! 



190 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 

Perplexed her fingers seem, 
As if they from the holly tree 
Green twigs would pluck, as rapidly 

Flung from her to the stream. 

What means the Spectre ? Why intent 

To violate the Tree, 
Thought Eglamore, by which I swore, 

Unfading constancy ? 
Here am I, and to-morrow's sun, 

To her I left, shall prove 
That bliss is ne'er so surely won 
As when a circuit has been run 

Of valour, truth, and love. 

So from the spot whereon he stood, 

He moved with stealthy pace ; 
And, drawing nigh, with his living eye, 

He recognised the face ; 
And whispers caught, and speeches small, 

Some to the green-leaved tree, 
Some muttered to the torrent-fall ; — 
" !Roar on, and bring him with thy call ; 

" I heard, and so may He ! " 

Soul- shattered was the Knight, nor knew 

If Emma's Grhost it were, 
Or boding Shade, or if the Maid 

Her very self stood there. 
He touched ; what followed who shall tell ? 

The soft touch snapped the thread 
Of slumber — shrieking back she fell, 
And the Stream whirled her down the dell 

Along its foaming bed. 



THE SOMNAMBULIST 191 

In plunged the Knight ! — when on firm ground 

The rescued Maiden lay, 
Her eyes grew bright with blissful light, 

Confusion passed away ; 
She heard, ere to the throne of grace 

Her faithful Spirit flew, 
His voice — beheld his speaking face ; 
And, dying, from his own embrace, 

She felt that he was true. 

So was he reconciled to life : 

Brief words may speak the rest ; 
Within the dell he built a cell, 

And there was Sorrow's guest : 
In hermits' weeds repose he found, 

From vain temptations free ; 
Beside the torrent dwelling — bound 
By one deep heart-controlling sound, 

And awed to piety. 

Wild stream of Aira, hold thy course, 

JSTor fear memorial lays, 
Where clouds that spread in solemn shade, 

Are edged with golden rays ! 
Dear art thou to the light of heaven, 

Though minister of sorrow ; 
Sweet is thy voice at pensive even ; 
And thou, in lovers' hearts forgiven, 

Shalt take thy place with Yarrow ! 

1833. 



192 POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION. 



XLVII, 

TO CORDELIA M , 

HALLSTEADS, ULLSWATER. 

Not in the mines beyond the western main, 
You say, Cordelia, was the metal sought, 
Which a fine skill, of Indian growth, has wrought 
Into this flexible yet faithful Chain ; 
INTor is it silver of romantic Spain 
But from our loved Helvellyn's depths was brought, 
Our own domestic mountain. Thing and thought 
Mix strangely ; trifles light, and partly vain, 
Can prop, as you have learnt, our nobler being : 
Tes, Lady, while about your neck is wound 
(Your casual glance oft meeting) this bright cord, 
What witchery, for pure gifts of inward seeing, 
Lurks in it, Memory's Helper, Taney's Lord, 
Eor precious tremblings in your bosom found ! 



XLVIII. 



Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes 
To pace the ground, if path be there or none, 
While a fair region round the traveller lies 
Which he forbears again to look upon ; 



SONNETS. 193 

Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene, 

The work of Fancy, or some happy tone 

Of meditation, slipping in between 

The beauty coming and the beauty gone. 

If Thought and Love desert us, from that day 

Let us break off all commerce with the Muse : 

With Thought and Love companions of our way, 

Whate'er the senses take or may refuse, 

The Mind's internal heaven shall shed her dews 

Of inspiration on the humblest lay. 



POEMS OE SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



EXPOSTULATION AND REPLY. 

[This poem is a favorite among the Quakers, as I have learnt on 
many occasions. It was composed in front of the house at 
Alfoxden, in the spring of 1798.] 

" "Why, William, on that old grey stone, 
Thus for the length of half a day, 
Why^ William, sit you thus alone, 
And dream your time away ? 

Where are your books ? — that light bequeathed 
To Beings else forlorn and blind ! 
"Up ! up ! and drink the spirit breathed 
Erom dead men to their kind. 

You look round on your Mother Earth, 
As if she for no purpose bore you ; 
As if you were her first-born birth, 
And none had lived before you ! " 



EXPOSTULATION AND REPLY. 195 

One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake, 
When life was sweet, I knew not why, 
To me my good friend Matthew spake, 
And thus I made reply : 

" The eye — it cannot choose but see ; 
"We cannot bid the ear be still ; 
Our bodies feel, where'er they be, 
Against or with our will. 

Nor less I deem that there are Powers 
Which of themselves our minds impress ; 
That we can feed this mind of ours 
In a wise passiveness. 

Think you, 'mid all this mighty sum 
Of things for ever speaking, 
That nothing of itself will come, 
But we must still be seeking ? 

— Then ask not wherefore, here, alone. 

Conversing as I may, 

I sit upon this old grey stone, 

And dream my time away." 

1798. 



196 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



ir. 
THE TABLES TURNED. 

AN EVENING SCENE ON THE SAME SUBJECT. 

Up ! up ! my Friend, and quit your books ; 
Or surely you'll grow double : 
Up ! up ! my Friend, and clear your looks ; 
"Why all this toil and trouble ? 

The sun, above the mountain's head, 

A freshening lustre mellow 

Through all the long green fields has spread, 

His first sweet evening yellow. 

Books ! 'tis a dull and endless strife : 
Come, hear the woodland linnet, 
How sweet his music ! on my life, 
There's more of wisdom in it. 

And hark ! how blithe the throstle sings ! 
He, too, is no mean preacher : 
Come forth into the light of things, 
Let Nature be your teacher. 

She has a world of ready wealth, 
Our minds and hearts to bless — 
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health, 
Truth breathed by cheerfulness. 



LINES WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING. 197 

One impulse from a vernal wood 
May teach you more of man, 
Of moral evil and of good, 
Than all the sages can. 

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings ; 
Our meddling intellect 

Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things : — 
We murder to dissect. 

Enough of Science and of Art ; 
Close up those barren leaves ; 
Come forth, and bring with you a heart 
That watches and receives. 



in. 

LINES WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING. 

[Actually composed while I was sitting by the side of the brook 
that runs down from the Comb, in which stands the village of 
Alford, through the grounds of Alfoxden. It was a chosen 
resort of mine. The brook fell down a sloping rock so as to 
make a waterfall considerable for that country, and across the 
pool below, had fallen a tree, an ash if I rightly remember, 
from which rose perpendicularly, boughs in search of the light 
intercepted by the deep shade above. The boughs bore leaves 
of green that for want of sunshine had faded into almost lily- 
white; and from the underside of this natural sylvan bridge 
depended long and beautiful tresses of ivy which waved gently 
in the breeze that might poetically speaking be called the breath 
of the waterfall. This motion varied of course in proportion 
to the power of water in the brook. When, with dear friends, 
I revisited this spot, after an interval of more than forty years, 
this interesting feature of the scene was gone. To the owner 
of the place I could not but regret that the beauty of this 



198 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION 

retired part of the grounds had not tempted him to make it 
more accessible by a path, not broad or obtrusive, but suffi- 
cient for persons who love such scenes to creep along without 
difficulty. ] 

I heard a thousand blended notes, 
While in a grove I sate reclined, 
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts 
Bring sad thoughts to the mind. 

To her fair works did Nature link 
The human soul that through me ran ; 
And much it grieved my heart to think 
"What man has made of man. 

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, 
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths ; 
And 'tis my faith that every flower 
Enjoys the air it breathes. 

The birds around me hopped and played, 
Their thoughts I cannot measure : — 
But the least motion which they made, 
It seemed a thrill of pleasure. 

The budding twigs spread out their fan, 
To catch the breezy air ; 
And I must think, do all I can, 
That there was pleasure there. 

If this belief from heaven be sent, 
If such be Nature's holy plan, 
Have I not reason to lament 
What man has made of man ? 

1798. 



199 



IV. 

A CHARACTER. 



[The principal features are taken from that of my friend Robert 
Jones.] 

I marvel how Nature could ever find space 

For so many strange contrasts in one human face : 

There's thought and no thought, and there's paleness 

and bloom 
And bustle and sluggishness, pleasure and gloom. 

There's weakness, and strength both redundant and 
Such strength as, if ever affliction and pain [vain ; 
Could pierce through a temper that's soft to disease, 
Would be rational peace — a philosopher's ease. 

There's in difference, alike when he fails or succeeds, 
And attention full ten times as much as there needs ; 
Pride where there's no envy, there's so much of joy ; 
And mildness, and spirit both forward and coy. 

There's freedom, and sometimes a diffident stare 
Of shame scarcely seeming to know that she's there, 
There's virtue, the title it surely may claim, 
Tet wants heaven knows what to be worthy the name. 

This picture from nature may seem to depart, 
Tet the Man would at once run away with your heart ; 
And I for five centuries right gladly would be 
Such an odd such a kind happy creature as he. 

1800. 



200 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



T. 

TO MY SISTEE. 

[Composed in front of Alfoxden House. My little boy-messenger on 
this occasion was the son of Basil Montagu. The larch men- 
tioned in the first stanza was standing when I revisited the 
place in May, 1841, more than forty years after. I was dis- 
appointed that it had notiimproved in appearance as to size, nor 
had it acquired anything of the majesty of age, which, even 
though less perhaps than any other tree, the larch sometimes does. 
A few score yards from this tree, grew, when we inhabited 
Alfoxden, one of the most remarkable beech-trees ever seen. 
The ground sloped both towards and from it. It was of 
immense size, and threw out arms that struck into the soil, 
like those of the banyan-tree, and rose again from it. Two of 
the branches thus inserted themselves twice, which gave to each 
the appearance of a serpent moving along by gathering itself up 
in folds. One of the large boughs of this tree had been torn off 
by the wind before we left Alfoxden, but five remained. In 
1841 we could barely find the spot where the tree had stood. 
So remarkable a production of nature could not have been 
wilfully destroyed.] 

It is the first mild day of March : 
Each minute sweeter than before 
The redbreast sings from the tall larch 
That stands beside our door. 

There is a blessing in the air, 
"Which seems a sense of joy to yield 
To the bare trees, and mountains bare, 
And grass in the green field. 

My sister ! ('tis a wish of mine) 
Now that our morning meal is done, 
Make haste, your morning task resign ; 
Come forth and feel the sun. 



TO MY SISTER. 201 

Edward will come with you ; — and, pray, 
Put on with speed your woodland dress ; 
And bring no book : for this one day 
"We'll give to idleness. 

]N"o joyless forms shall regulate 
Our living calendar : 
"We from to-day, my Friend, will date 
The opening of the year. 

Love, now a universal birth, 
From heart to heart is stealing, 
From earth to man, from man to earth : 
— It is the hour of feeling. 

One moment now may give us more 
Than years of toiling reason : 
Our minds shall drink at every pore 
The spirit of the season. 

Some silent laws our hearts will make, 
"Which they shall long obey : 
We for the year to come may take 
Our temper from to-day. 

And from the blessed power that rolls 
About, below, above, 
We'll frame the measure of our souls : 
They shall be tuned to love. 

Then come, my Sister ! *come, I pray, 
With speed put on your woodland dress ; 
And bring no book : for this one day 
We'll give to idleness, 

1798. 



202 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



VI. 

SIMON LEE, 

THE OLD HUNTSMAN,* 
WITH AN INCIDENT IN WHICH HE WAS CONCERNED. 

[This old man had been huntsman to the squires of Alfoxden, 
which, at the time we occupied it, belonged to a minor. The 
old man's cottage stood upon the common, a little way from 
the entrance to Alfoxden Park. But it had disappeared. 
Many other changes had taken place in the adjoining village, 
which I could not but notice with a regret more natural than 
well-considered. Improvements but rarely appear such to 
those who, after long intervals of time, revisit places they 
have had much pleasure in. It is unnecessary to add, the 
fact was as mentioned in the poem ; and I have, after an 
interval of forty-five years, the image of the old man as fresh 
before my eyes as if I had seen him yesterday. The expression 
when the hounds were out, "I dearly love their voice," was 
word for word from his own lips.] 

In the sweet shire of Cardigan, 
Not far from pleasant Ivor-hall, 
An old Man dwells, a little man, — 
'Tis said he once was tall. 
Full five-and-thirty years he lived 
A running huntsman merry ; 
And still the centre of his cheek 
Is red as a ripe cherry. 

No man like him the horn could sound, 
And hill and valley rang with glee 
When Echo bandied, round and round, 
The halloo of Simon Lee. 



SIMON LEE. 203 

In those proud days, he little cared 
Tor husbandry or tillage ; 
To blither tasks did Simon rouse 
The sleepers of the village. 

He all the country could outrun, 

Could leave both man and horse behind ; 

And often, ere the chase was done, 

He reeled, and was stone-blind. 

And still there's something in the world 

At which his heart rejoices ; 

For when the chiming hounds are out, 

He dearly loves their voices ! 

But, oh the heavy change ! — bereft 

Of health, strength, friends, and kindred, see ! 

Old Simon to the world is left 

In liveried poverty. 

His Master's dead, — and no one now 

Dwells in the Hall of Ivor ; 

Men, dogs, and horses, all are dead ; 

He is the sole survivor. 



And he is lean and he is sick ; 
His body, dwindled and awry, 
Bests upon ankles swoln and thick ; 
His legs are thin and dry. 
One prop he has, and only one, 
His wife, an aged woman, 
Lives with him, near the waterfall, 
Upon the village Common. 



204 POEMS OP SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Beside their moss-grown hut of clay, 
Not twenty paces from the door, 
A scrap of land they have, but they 
Are poorest of the poor. 
This scrap of land he from the heath 
Enclosed when he was stronger ; 
But what to them avails the land 
Which he can till no longer ? 

Oft, working by her Husband's side, 

Buth does what Simon cannot do ; 

For she, with scanty cause for pride, 

Is stouter of the two. 

And, though you with your utmost skill 

From labour could not wean them, 

'Tis little, very little— all 

That they can do between them. 

Few months of life has he in store 
As he to you will tell, 
For still, the more he works, the more 
Do his weak ankles swell. 
My gentle Beader, I perceive 
How patiently you've waited, 
And now I fear that you expect 
Some tale will be related. 



Beader ! had you in your mind 
Such stores as silent thought can bring, 
O gentle Beader ! you would find 
A tale in every thing. 



SIMON LEE. 205 

What more I have to say is short, 
And you must kindly take it : 
It is no tale ; but, should you think, 
Perhaps a tale you'll make it. 

One summer- day I chanced to see 
This old Man doing all he could 
To unearth the root of an old tree, 
A stump of rotten wood. 
The mattock tottered in his hand ; 
So vain was his endeavour, 
That at the root of the old tree 
He might have worked for ever. 

" You're overtasked, good Simon Lee, 

Give me your tool," to him I said ; 

And at the word right gladly he 

Received my proffered aid. 

I struck, and with a single blow 

The tangled root I severed, 

At which the poor old Man so long 

And vainly had endeavoured. 

The tears into his eyes were brought, 
And thanks and praises seemed to run 
So fast out of his heart, I thought 
They never would have done. 
— I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds 
"With coldness still returning ; 
Alas ! the gratitude of men 
Hath oftener left me mourning. 

1798. 



206 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



vir. 
WRITTEN IN GERMANY, 

ON ONE OP THE COLDEST DAYS OP THE CENTURY. 

[A bitter winter it was when these verses were composed by the 
side of my Sister, in our lodgings at a draper's house in the 
romantic imperial town of Groslar, on the edge of the Hartz 
Forest. In this town the German emperors of the Franconian 
line were accustomed to keep their court, and it retains vestiges 
of ancient splendour. So severe was the cold of this winter, 
that when we passed out of the parlour warmed by the stove, 
our cheeks were struck by the air as by cold iron. I slept in 
a room over a passage which was not ceiled. The people of the 
house used to say, rather unfeelingly, that they expected I 
should be frozen to death some night ; but, with the protection 
of a pelisse lined with fur, and a dog's-skin bonnet, such as 
was worn by the peasants, I walked daily on the ramparts, or in 
a sort of public ground or garden, in which was a pond. Here, 
I had no companion but a kingfisher, a beautiful creature, that 
used to glance by me. I consequently became much attached 
to it. During these walks I composed the poem that follows.] 

The Reader must be apprised, that the Stoves in North- Gfermany 
generally have the impression of a galloping horse upon them, 
this being part of the Brunswick Arms. 

A pla&tje on your languages, German and Norse ! 

Let me have the song of the kettle ; 

And the tongs and the poker, instead of that horse 

That gallops away with such fury and force 

On this dreary dull plafce of black metal. 

See that Ply, — a disconsolate creature ! perhaps 
A child of the field or the grove ; 
And, sorrow for him ! the dull treacherous heat 
Has seduced the poor fool from his winter retreat, 
And he creeps to the edge of my stove. 



WRITTEN IN GERMANY. 207 

Alas ! how lie fumbles about the domains 
Which this comfortless oven environ ! 
He cannot find out in what track he must crawl, 
Now back to the tiles, then in search of the wall, 
And now on the brink of the iron. 

Stock-still there he stands like a traveller bemazecl : 

The best of his skill he has tried ; 

His feelers, methinks, I can see him put forth 

To the east and the west, to the south and the north ; 

But he finds neither guide-post nor guide. 

His spindles sink under him, foot, leg, and thigh ! 
His eyesight and hearing are lost ; 
Between life and death his blood freezes and thaws ; 
And his two pretty pinions of blue dusky gauze 
Are glued to his sides by the frost. 

No brother, no mate has he near him — while I 
Can draw warmth from the cheek of my Love ; 
As blest and as glad, in this desolate gloom, 
As if green summer grass were the floor of my room, 
And woodbines were hanging above. 

Yet, G-od is my witness, thou small helpless Thing ! 
Thy life I would gladly sustain 

Till summer come up from the south, and with crowds 
Of thy brethren, a march thou should' st sound through 

the clouds. 
And back to the forests again ! 

1799. 



208 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



Yin. 

A POET'S EPITAPH, 

Art thou a Statist in the van 
Of public conflicts trained and bred ? 
— First learn to love one living man ; 
Then may'st thou think upon the dead. 

A Lawyer art thou ? — draw not nigh ! 
Glo, carry to some fitter place 
The keenness of that practised eye, 
The hardness of that sallow face. 

Art thou a Man of purple cheer ? 
A rosy Man, right plump to see ? 
Approach ; yet, Doctor, not too near, 
This grave no cushion is for thee. 

Or art thou one of gallant pride, 
A Soldier and no man of chaff ? 
"Welcome ! — but lay thy sword aside, 
And lean upon a peasant's staff. 

Physician art thou ? one, all eyes, 
Philosopher ! a fingering slave, 
One that would peep and botanize 
Upon his mother's grave ? 

Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece, 
turn aside, — and take, I pray, 
That he below may rest in peace, 
Thy ever- dwindling soul, away ! 



A POET'S EPITAPH. 209 

A Moralist perchance appears ; 
Led, Heaven knows how ! to this poor sod : 
And he has neither eyes nor ears ; 
Himself his world, and his own God ; 

One to whose smooth-rubbed soul can cling 
Nor form, nor feeling, great or small ; 
A reasoning, self-sufficing thing, 
An intellectual All-in-all ! 

Shut close the door ; press down the latch ; 
Sleep in thy intellectual crust ; 
Nor lose ten tickings of thy watch 
Near this unprofitable dust. 

But who is He, with modest looks, 
And clad in homely russet brown ? 
He murmurs near the running brooks 
A music sweeter than their own. 

He is retired as noontide dew, 
Or fountain in a noon-day grove ; 
And you must love him, ere to you 
He will seem worthy of your love. 

The outward shows of sky and earth, 
Of hill and valley, he has viewed ; 
And impulses of deeper birth 
Have come to him in solitude. 

In common things that round us lie 
Some random truths he can impart,— 
The harvest of a quiet eye 
That broods and sleeps on his own heart. 



210 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

But he is weak ; both Man and Boy, 
Hath teen an idler in the land ; 
Contented if he might enjoy 
The things which others understand. 

— Come hither in thy hour of strength ; 
Come, weak as is a breaking wave ! 
Here stretch thy body at full length ; 
Or build thy house upon this grave. 



1799. 



IX. 

TO THE DAISY. 



[This and the other Poems addressed to the same flower were 
composed at Town-end, Grasmere, during the earlier part of 
my residence there. I have been censured for the last line 
but one — "thy function apostolical" — as being little less than 
profane. How could it be thought so ? The word is adopted 
with reference to its derivation, implying something sent on a 
mission; and assuredly this little flower, especially when the 
subject of verse, may be regarded, in its humble degree, as 
administering both to moral and to spiritual purposes.] 

Beioht Mower ! whose home is everywhere, 

Bold in maternal Nature's care, 

And all the long year through the heir 

Of joy or sorrow ; 
Methinks that there abides in thee 
Some concord with humanity, 
Given to no other flower I see 

The forest thorough ! 



MATTHEW. 211 

Is it that Man is soon deprest ? 

A thoughtless Thing ! who, once unblest, 

Does little on his memory rest, 

Or on his reason, 
And Thou would' st teach him how to find 
A shelter under every wind, 
A hope for times that are unkind 

And every season ? 

Thou wander' st the wide world about, 
Uncheck'd by pride or scrupulous doubt, 
With friends to greet thee, or without, 

Yet pleased and willing ; 
Meek, yielding to the occasion's call, 
And all things suffering from all, 
Thy function apostolical 

In peace fulfilling. 

1803. 



MATTHEW. 



In the School of is a tablet, on which are inscribed, in gilt 

letters, the Names of the several persons who have been 
School-masters there since the foundation of the School, with 
the time at which they entered upon and quitted their office. 
Opposite to one of those names the Author wrote the following 
lines. 

[Such a Tablet as is here spoken of continued to be preserved in 
Hawkshead School, though the inscriptions were not brought 
down to our time. This and other poems connected with 
Matthew would not gain by a literal detail of facts. Like the 
Wanderer in "The Excursion," this School-master was made 
up of several both of his class and men of other occupations. 
I do not ask pardon for what there is of untruth in such 



212 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

verses, considered strictly as matters of fact. It is enough if, 
being true and consistent in spirit, they move and teach in a 
manner not unworthy of a Poet's calling.] 

If Nature, for a favourite child, 
In thee hath tempered so her clay, 
That every hour thy heart runs wild, 
Tet never once doth go astray, 

Read o'er these lines ; and then review 
This tablet, that thus humbly rears 
In such diversity of hue 
Its history of two hundred years. 

— "When through this little wreck of fame, 
Cipher and syllable ! thine eye 
Has travelled down to Matthew's name, 
Pause with no common sympathy. 

And, if a sleeping tear should wake, 
Then be it neither checked nor stayed : 
For Matthew a request I make 
Which for himself he had not made. 

Poor Matthew, all his frolics o'er, 
Is silent as a standing pool ; 
Par from the chimney's merry roar, 
And murmur of the village school. 

The sighs which Matthew heaved were sighs 
Of one tired out with fun and madness ; 
The tears which came to Matthew's eyes 
Were tears of light, the dew of gladness. 



THE TWO APRIL MORNINGS. 213 

Yet, sometimes, when the secret cup 
Of still and serious thought went round, 
It seemed as if he drank it up — 
He felt with spirit so profound. 

— Thou soul of God's best earthly mould ! 
Thou happy Soul ! and can it be 
That these two words of glittering gold 
Are all that must remain of thee ? 

1799. 



XI. 

THE TWO APKIL MORNINGS, 

We walked along, while bright and red 
Uprose the morning sun ; 
And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said, 
"The will of God be done!" 

A village schoolmaster was he, 
With hair of glittering grey ; 
As blithe a man as you could see 
On a spring holiday. 

And on that morning, through the grass, 
And by the steaming rills, 
We travelled merrily, to pass 
A day among the hills. 

"Our work," said I, " was well begun, 
Then, from thy breast what thought, 
Beneath so beautiful a sun, 
So sad a sigh has brought ?" 



214 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION, 

A second time did Matthew stop ; 
And fixing still his eye 
Upon the eastern mountain-top, 
To me he made reply : 

" Ton cloud with that long purple cleft 
Brings fresh into my mind 
A day like this which I have left 
Full thirty years behind. 

And just above yon slope of corn 
Such colours, and no other, 
Were in the sky, that April morn, 
Of this the very brother. 

"With rod and line I sued the sport 
Which that sweet season gave, 
And, to the church-yard come, stopped short 
Beside my daughter's grave. 

Nine summers had she scarcely seen, 
The pride of all the vale ; 
And then she sang ; — she would have been 
A very nightingale. 

Six feet in earth my Emma lay ; 
And yet I loved her more, 
!For so it seemed, than till that day 
I e'er had loved before. 

And, turning from her grave, I met, 
Beside the churchyard yew, 
A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet 
With points of morning dew. 



THE FOUNTAIN. 215 

A basket on her head she bare ; 
Her brow was smooth and white : 
To see a child so very fair, 
It was a pure delight ! 

No fountain from its rocky cave 
E'er tripped with foot so free ; 
She seemed as happy as a wave 
That dances on the sea. 

There came from me a sigh of pain 
Which I could ill confine ; 
I looked at her, and looked again : 
And did not wish her mine !" 

Matthew is in his grave, yet now, 

Methinks, I see him stand, 

As at that moment, with a bough 

Of wilding in his hand. 

1799. 



XII. 

THE FOUNTAIN. 

A CONVERSATION. 



We talked with open heart, and tongue 
Affectionate and true, 
A pair of friends, though I was young, 
And Matthew seventy-two. 

We lay beneath a spreading oak, 
Beside a mossy seat ; 
And from the turf a fountain broke, 
And gurgled at our feet. 



216 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

" Now, Matthew ! " said I, " let us match 
This water's pleasant tune 
"With some old border-soug, or catch 
That suits a summer's noon ; 

Or of the church-clock and the chimes 
Sing here beneath the shade, 
That half-mad thing of witty rhymes 
Which you last April made ! " 

In silence Matthew lay, and eyed 
The spring beneath the tree ; 
And thus the dear old Man replied, 
The grey-haired man of glee : 

" No check, no stay, this Streamlet fears ; 
How merrily it goes ! 
'Twill murmur on a thousand years, 
And now as now it flows. 

And here, on this delightful day, 
I cannot choose but think 
How oft, a vigorous man, I lay 
Beside this fountain's brink. 

My eyes are dim with childish tears, 
My heart is idly stirred, 
For the same sound is in my ears 
"Which in those days I heard. 

Thus fares it still in our decay : 
And yet the wiser mind 
Mourns less for what age takes away 
Than what it leaves behind. 



THE FOUNTAIN. 217 

The blackbird amid leafy trees, 

The lark above the hill, 

Let loose their carols when they please, 

Are quiet when they will. 

"With Nature never do they wage 
A foolish strife ; they see 
A happy youth, and their old age 
Is beautiful and free : 

But we are pressed by heavy laws ; 
And often, glad no more, 
We wear a face of joy, because 
We have been glad of yore. 

If there be one who need bemoan 
His kindred laid in earth, 
The household hearts that were his own ; 
It is the man of mirth. 

My days, my Friend, are almost gone, 
My life has been approved, 
And many love me; but by none 
Am I enough beloved." 

" Now both himself and me he wrongs, 
The man who thus complains ! 
I live and sing my idle songs 
Upon these happy plains ; 

And, Matthew, for thy children dead 
I'll be a son to thee ! " 
At this he grasped my hand, and said, 
" Alas ! that cannot be." 



218 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

"We rose up from the fountain-side ; 
And down the smooth descent 
Of the green sheep-track did we glide ; 
And through the wood we went ; 

And, ere we came to Leonard's rock, 
He sang those witty rhymes 
About the crazy old church- clock, 
And the bewildered chimes. 

_______ 1799. 

XIII. 

PERSONAL TALK. 

[Written at Town-end, Grasmere. The last line but two stood, at 
first, better and more characteristically, thns : 

" By my half-kitchen and half-parlour fire." 

My Sister and I were in the habit of having the tea-kettle in 
our little sitting-room ; and we toasted the bread ourselves, 
which reminds me of a little circumstance not unworthy of 
being set down among these minutiae. Happening both of us 
to be engaged a few minutes one morning when we had a young 
prig of a Scotch lawyer to breakfast with us, my dear Sister, 
with her usual simplicity, put the toasting-fork with a slice of 
bread into the hands of this Edinburgh genius. Our little 
book-case stood on one side of the fire. To prevent loss of 
time, he took down a book, and fell to reading, to the neglect 
of the toast, which was burnt to a cinder. Many a time have 
we laughed at this circumstance, and other cottage simplicities 
of that day. By the bye, I have a spite at one of this series 
of Sonnets (I will leave the reader to discover which) as having 
been the means of nearly putting off for ever our acquaintance 
with dear Miss Fenwick, who has always stigmatised one line 
of it as vulgar, and worthy only of having been composed by a 
country squire.] 

i. 

I am not One who much or oft delight 

To season my fireside with personal talk, — 

Of friends, who live within an easy walk, 

Or neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight : 



PERSONAL TALK. 219 

And, for my chance-acquaintance, ladies bright, 
Sons, mothers, maidens withering on the stalk, 
These all wear out of me, like Forms, with chalk 
Painted on rich men's floors, for one feast-night. 
Better than such discourse doth silence long, 
Long, barren silence, square with my desire ; 
To sit without emotion, hope, or aim, 
In the loved presence of my cottage-fire, 
And listen to the flapping of the flame, 
Or kettle whispering its faint undersong. 



"Yet life," you say, "is life ; we have seen and see, 

And with a living pleasure we describe ; 

And fits of sprightly malice do but bribe 

The languid mind into activity. 

Sound sense, and love itself, and mirth and glee 

Are fostered by the comment and the gibe." 

Even be it so ; yet still among your tribe, 

Our daily world's true "Worldlings, rank not me ! 

Children are blest, and powerful ; their world lies 

More justly balanced; partly at their feet, 

And part far from them : sweetest melodies 

Are those that are by distance made more sweet • 

Whose mind is but the mind of his own eyes, 

He is a Slave ; the meanest we can meet ! 



Wings have we,— and as far as we can go, 
We may find pleasure : wilderness and wood, 
Blank ocean and mere sky, support that mood 
Which with the lofty sanctifies the low. 



220 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Dreams, books, are each a world ; and books, we know, 

Are a substantial world, both pure and good : 

E/Ound these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood, 

Our pastime and our happiness will grow. 

There find I personal themes, a plenteous store, 

Matter wherein right voluble I am, 

To which I listen with a ready ear ; 

Two shall be named, pre-eminently dear, — 

The gentle Lady married to the Moor ; 

And heavenly Una with her milk-white Lamb. 



]STor can I not believe but that hereby 

Great gains are mine ; for thus I live remote 

From evil-speaking ; rancour, never sought, 

Comes to me not ; malignant truth, or lie. 

Hence have I genial seasons, hence have I 

Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous thought: 

And thus from day to day my little boat 

Rocks in its harbour, lodging peaceably. 

Blessings be with them — and eternal praise, 

Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares — 

The Poets, who on earth have made us heirs 

Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays ! 

Oh ! might my name be numbered among theirs, 

Then gladly would I end my mortal days. 



TO THE SPADE OF A FRIEND. 221 

XIV. 
ILLUSTRATED BOOKS AND NEWSPAPERS. 

Discotjkse was deemed Man's noblest attribute, 
And written words tbe glory of his hand ; 
Then followed Printing with enlarged command 
For thought — dominion vast and absolute 
Eor spreading truth, and making love expand. 
Now prose and verse sunk into disrepute 
Must lacquey a dumb Art that best can suit 
The taste of this once-intellectual Land. 
A backward movement surely have we here, 
Erom manhood, — back to childhood ; for the age — 
Back towards caverned life's first rude career. 
Avaunt this vile abuse of pictured page ! 
Must eyes be all in all, the tongue and ear 
Nothing ? Heaven keep us from a lower stage ! 

1846. 



XV. 

TO THE SPADE OF A FEIEND. 

(an agriculturist.) 

composed while we were labouring together in his 
pleasure-ground. 

[This person was Thomas Wilkinson, a quaker by religions pro- 
fession ; by natural constitution of mind, or shall I venture 
to say, by God's grace, he was something better. He had 
inherited a small estate, and built a house npon it near 
Yanwath, upon the banks of the Emont. I have heard him 
say that his heart used to beat, in his boyhood, when he heard 
the sound of a drum and fife. Nevertheless, the spirit of 
enterprise in him confined itself to tilling his ground, and 
conquering such obstacles as stood in the way of its fertility. 
Persons of his religious persuasion do now, in a far greater 



222 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

degree than formerly, attach themselves to trade and com- 
merce. He kept the old track. As represented in this poem, 
he employed his leisure hours in shaping pleasant walks by 
the side of his beloved river, where he also built something 
between a hermitage and a summer-house, attaching to it 
inscriptions after the manner of Shenstone at his Leasowes. 
He used to travel from time to time, partly from love of 
nature, and partly with religious friends in the service of 
humanity. His admiration of genius in every department did 
him much honour. Through his connexion with the family in 
which Edmund Burke was educated, he became acquainted with 
that great man, who used to receive him with great kindness and 
consideration ; and many times have I heard Wilkinson speak 
of those interesting interviews. He was honoured also by the 
friendship of Elizabeth Smith, and of Thomas Clarkson and 
his excellent wife, and was much esteemed by Lord and Lady 
Lonsdale, and every member of that family. Among his 
verses (he wrote many) are some worthy of preservation — one 
little poem in particular upon disturbing, by prying curiosity, 
a bird while hatching her young in his garden. The latter 
part of this innocent and good man's life was melancholy. He 
became blind, and also poor by becoming surety for some of 
his relations. He was a bachelor. He bore, as I have often 
witnessed, his calamities with unfailing resignation. I will 
only add that, while working in one of his fields, he unearthed 
a stone of considerable size, then another, then two more, 
and, observing that they had been placed in order as if forming 
the segment of a circle, he proceeded carefully to uncover the 
soil, and brought into view a beautiful Druid's temple of 
perfect though small dimensions. In order to make his farm 
more compact, he exchanged this field for another ; and, I am 
sorry to add, the new proprietor destroyed this interesting relic 
of remote ages for some vulgar purpose.] 

Spade ! with which Wilkinson hath tilled his lands, 
And shaped these pleasant walks by Emont's side, 
Thou art a tool of honour in my hands ; 
I press thee, through the yielding soil, with pride. 

Rare master has it been thy lot to know ; 
Long hast Thou served a man to reason true ; 
"Whose life combines the best of high and low, 
The labouring many and the resting few ; 



TO THE SPADE OF A FRIEND. 223 

Health, meekness, ardour, quietness secure, 
And industry of body and of mind ; 
And elegant enjoyments, that are pure 
As nature is ; too pure to be refined. 

Here often bast Thou heard the Poet sing 
In concord with his river murmuring by ; 
Or in some silent field, while timid spring 
Is yet uncheered by other minstrelsy. 

"Who shall inherit Thee when death has laid 
Low in the darksome cell thine own dear lord ? 
That man will have a trophy, humble Spade ! 
A trophy nobler than a conqueror's sword. 

If he be one that feels, with skill to part 
False praise from true, or, greater from the less, 
Thee will he welcome to his hand and heart, 
Thou monument of peaceful happiness ! 

He will not dread with Thee a toilsome day — 
Thee his loved servant, his inspiring mate ! 
And, when thou art past service, worn away, 
No dull oblivious nook shall hide thy fate. 

His thrift thy uselessness will never scorn ; 
An heir-loom in his cottage wilt thou be : — 
High will he hang thee up, well pleased to adorn 
His rustic chimney with the last of Thee ! 

1804. 



224 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND KEFLECTION. 



XVI. 

A NIGHT THOUGHT. 

[These verses were thrown off extempore upon leaving Mrs. Luffs 
house at Fox-Ghyll, one evening. The good woman is not dis- 
posed to look at the bright side of things, and there happened 
to be present certain ladies who had reached the point of life 
where youth is ended, and who seemed to contend with each 
other in expressing their dislike of the country and climate. 
One of them had been heard to say she could not endure a 
country where there was " neither sunshine nor cavaliers."] 

Lo ! where the Moon along the sky 
Sails with her happy destiny ; 
Oft is she hid from mortal eye 

Or dimly seen, 
But when the clouds asunder fly 

How bright her mien ! 

Far different we — a froward race, 
Thousands though rich in Fortune's grace 
"With cherished sullenness of pace 

Their way pursue, 
Ingrates who wear a smileless face 

The whole year through. 

If kindred humours e'er would make 
My spirit droop for drooping' s sake, 
From Fancy following in thy wake, 

Bright ship of heaven ! 
A counter impulse let me take 

And be forgiven. 



225 



XYTI. 

INCIDENT 

CHARACTERISTIC OF A FAVOURITE DOG. 

[This Dog I knew well. It belonged to Mrs. Wordsworth.' s brother, 
Mr. Thomas Hutchinson, who then lived at Sockburn on the 
Tees, a beautiful retired situation where I used to visit him 
and his sisters before my marriage. My sister and I spent 
many months there after our return from Germany in 1799.] 

On his morning rounds the Master 

Goes to learn how all things fare ; 

Searches pasture after pasture, 

Sheep and cattle eyes with care ; 

And, for silence or for talk, 

He hath comrades in his walk ; 

Four dogs, each pair of different breed, 

Distinguished two for scent, and two for speed. 

See a hare before him started ! 
— Off they fly in earnest chase ; 
Every dog is eager-hearted, 
All the four are in the race : 
And the hare whom they pursue, 
Knows from instinct what to do ; 
Her hope is near : no turn she makes ; 
But, like an arrow, to the river takes. 

Deep the river was, and crusted 
Thinly by a one night's frost ; 
But the nimble Hare hath trusted 
To the ice, and safely crost ; 



226 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

She hath crost, and without heed 

All are. folio wing at full speed, 

When, lo ! the ice, so thinly spread, 

Breaks — and the greyhound, Dart, is over-head ! 

Better fate have Prince and Swallow — 

See them cleaving to the sport ! 

Music has no heart to follow, 

Little Music, she stops short. 

She hath neither wish nor heart, 

Hers is now another part : 

A loving creature she, and brave ! 

And fondly strives her struggling friend to save. 

From the brink her paws she stretches, 
Yery hands as you would say ! 
And afflictiDg moans she fetches, 
As he breaks the ice away. 
For herself she hath no fears, — 
Him alone she sees and hears, — 
■ Makes efforts with complainings ; nor gives o'er 
Until her fellow sinks to re-appear no more. 

1805. 



xvnr. 
TRIBUTE 

TO THE MEMORr OP THE SAME DOG. 

Lie here, without a record of thy worth, 
Beneath a covering of the common earth ! 
It is not from unwillingness to praise, 
Or want of love, that here no Stone we raise ; 



TRIBUTE. 227 

More thou deserv'st ; but this man gives to man, 
Brother to brother, this is all we can. 
Yet they to whom thy virtues made thee dear 
Shall find thee through all changes of the year : 
This Oak points out thy grave ; the silent tree 
"Will gladly stand a monument of thee. 

We grieved for thee, and wished thy end were past; 
And willingly have laid thee here at last : 
Eor thou hadst lived till every thing that cheers 
In thee had yielded to the weight of years ; 
Extreme old age had wasted thee away, 
And left thee but a glimmering of the day ; 
Thy ears were deaf, and feeble were thy knees, — 
I saw thee stagger in the summer breeze, 
Too weak to stand against its sportive breath, 
And ready for the gentlest stroke of death. 
It came, and we were glad ; yet tears were shed ; 
Both man and woman wept when thou wert dead ; 
Not only for a thousand thoughts that were, 
Old household thoughts, in which thou hadst thy share ; 
But for some precious boons vouchsafed to thee, 
Found scarcely any where in like degree ! 
For love, that comes wherever life and sense 
Are given by G-od, in thee was most intense ; 
A chain of heart, a feeling of the mind, 
A tender sympathy, which did thee bind 
Not only to us Men ; but to thy Kind : 
Tea, for thy fellow-brutes in thee we saw 
A soul of love, love's intellectual law : — 
Hence, if we wept, it was not done in shame ; 
Our tears from passion and from reason came, 
And, therefore, shalt thou be an honoured name ! 

1805. 
Q 2 



228 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



XIX. 

FIDELITY. 

[The young man whose death gave occasion to this poem was 
named Charles Gough, and had come early in the spring to 
Paterdale for the sake of angling. While attempting to cross 
over Helvellyn to Gfrasmere he slipped from a steep part of the 
rock where the ice was not thawed, and perished. His body 
was discovered as is told in this poem. Walter Scott heard of 
the accident, and both he and I, without either of us knowing 
that the other had taken up the subject, each wrote a poem in 
admiration of the dog's fidelity. His contains a most beautiful 
stanza : — 

" How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber, 
When the wind waved his garment how oft didst thou start." 

I will add that the sentiment in the last four lines of the last 
stanza in my verses was uttered by a shepherd with such 
exactness, that a traveller, who afterwards reported his account 
in print, was induced to question the man whether he had read 
them, which he had not.] 

A barkito sound the Shepherd hears, 
A cry as of a dog or fox ; 
He halts — and searches with his eyes 
Among the scattered rocks : 
And now at distance can discern 
A stirring in a brake of fern ; 
And instantly a dog is seen, 
Glancing through that covert green. 

The Dog is not of mountain breed ; 
Its motions, too, are wild and shy ; 
"With something, as the Shepherd thinks, 
Unusual in its cry : 



FIDELITY. 229 

Nor is there any one in sight 
All round, in hollow or on height ; 
Nor shout, nor whistle strikes his ear ; 
What is the creature doing here ? 

It was a cove, a huge recess, 

That keeps, till June, December's snow ; 

A lofty precipice in front, 

A silent tarn * below ! 

Ear in the bosom of Helvellyn, 

Remote from public road or dwelling, 

Pathway, or cultivated land ; 

From trace of human foot or hand. 

There sometimes doth a leaping fish 
Send through the tarn a lonely cheer ; 
The crags repeat the raven's croak, 
In symphony austere ; 
Thither the rainbow comes — the cloud — 
And mists that spread the flying shroud ; 
And sunbeams ; and the sounding blast, 
That, if it could, would hurry past ; 
But that enormous barrier holds it fast. 

Not free from boding thoughts, a while 
The Shepherd stood ; then makes his way 
O'er rocks and stones, following the Dog 
As quickly as he may ; 
Nor far had gone before he found 
A human skeleton on the ground ; 
The appalled Discoverer with a sigh 
Looks round, to learn the history. 

Tarn is a small Mere or Lake, mostly high up in the mountains. 



230 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Erom those abrupt and perilous rocks 

The Man had fallen, that place of fear ! 

At length upon the Shepherd's mind 

It breaks, and all is clear : 

He instantly recalled the name, 

And who he was, and whence he came ; 

Remembered, too, the very day 

On which the Traveller passed this way. 

But hear a wonder, for whose sake 

This lamentable tale I tell ! 

A lasting monument of words 

This wonder merits well. 

The Dog, which still was hovering nigh, 

Repeating the same timid cry, 

This Dog, had been through three months' space 

A dweller in that savage place. 

Yes, proof was plain that, since the day 
"When this ill-fated Traveller died, 
The Dog had watched about the spot, 
Or by his master's side : 
How nourished here through such long time 
He knows, who gave that love sublime ; 
And gave that strength of feeling, great 
Above all human estimate ! 

1805. 



231 



xx. 
ODE TO DUTY. 

[This Ode is on the model of Gray's Ode to Adversity, which is 
copied from Horace's Ode to Fortune. Many and many a time 
have I been twitted by my wife and sister for having forgotten 
this dedication of myself to the stern law-giver. Transgressor 
indeed I have been, from hour to hour, from day to day : I 
would fain hope however, not more flagrantly or in a worse way 
than most of my tuneful brethren. But these last words are 
in a wrong strain. We should be rigorous to ourselves and 
forbearing, if not indulgent, to others, and, if we make com- 
parisons at all, it ought to be with those who have morally 
excelled us.] 

'Jam non consilio bonus, sed more eo perductus, ut non tantum 
recte facere possim, seel nisi recte facere non possim.' 

Stern Daughter of the Voice of G-od ! 

O Duty ! if that name thou love 

"Who art a light to guide, a rod 

To check the erring, and reprove ; 

Thou, who art victory and law 

"When empty terrors overawe ; 

From vain temptations dost set free ; 

And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity ! 

There are who ask not if thine eye 

Be on them ; who, in love and truth, 

"Where no misgiving is, rely 

Upon the genial sense of youth : 

Glad Hearts ! without reproach or blot ; 

"Who do thy work, and know it not : 

Oh! if through confidence misplaced [cast. 

They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power ! around them 



232 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Serene will be oar days and bright, 

And Happy will our nature be, 

'When love is an unerring light, 

And joy its own security. 

And they a blissful course may hold 

Even now, who, not unwisely bold, 

Live in the spirit of this creed ; 

Yet seek thy firm support, according to their need. 



I, loving freedom, and untried ; 

No sport of every random gust, 

Yet being to myself a guide, 

Too blindly have reposed my trust : 

And oft, when in my heart was heard 

Thy timely mandate, I deferred 

The task, in smoother walks to stray ; 

But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may. 

Through no disturbance of my soul, 

Or strong compunction in me wrought, 

I supplicate for thy control ; 

Eut in the quietness of thought : 

Me this unchartered freedom tires ; 

I feel the weight of chance- desires : 

My hopes no more must change their name, 

I long for a repose that ever is the same. 

Stern Lawgiver ! yet thou dost wear 
The Godhead's most benignant grace ; 
Nor know we any thing so fair 
As is the smile upon thy face : 



CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY WARRIOR. 233 

Mowers laugh before thee on their beds 
And fragrance in thy footing treads ; 
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong ; 
And the most ancient heavens, through Thee, are 
fresh and strong. 

To humbler functions, awful Power ! 
I call thee : I myself commend 
Unto thy guidance from this hour ; 
Oh, let my weakness have an end ! 
Give unto me, made lowly wise, 
The spirit of self-sacrifice ; a 

The confidence of reason give ; 
And in the light of truth thy Bondman let me live ! 

1805. 



XXI. 

CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY WARRIOR. 

[The course of the great war with the French naturally fixed 
one's attention upon the military character, and, to the honour 
of our country, there were many illustrious instances of the 
qualities that constitute its highest excellence. Lord Nelson 
carried most of the virtues that the trials he was exposed 
to in his department of the service necessarily call forth and 
sustain, if they do not produce the contrary vices. But his 
public life was stained with one great crime, so that, though 
many passages of these lines were suggested by what was 
generally known as excellent in his conduct, I have not 
been able to connect his name with the poem as I could 
wish, or even to think of him with satisfaction in reference 
to the idea of what a warrior ought to be. For the sake of 
such of my friends as may happen to read this note I will 
add, that many elements of the character here pourtrayed 
were found in my brother John, who perished by shipwreck, 
as mentioned elsewhere. His messmates used to call him the 
Philosopher, from which it must be inferred that the qua- 



234 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

lities and dispositions I allude to had not escaped their notice. 
He often expressed his regret, after the war had continued 
some time, that he had not chosen the Naval, instead of the 
East India Company's, service, to which his family connexion 
had led him. He greatly valued moral and religious instruc- 
tion for youth, as tending to make good sailors. The best, 
he used to say, came from Scotland ; the next to them, from 
the North of England, especially from Westmorland and Cum- 
berland, where, thanks to the piety and local attachments of 
our ancestors, endowed, or, as they are commonly called, free, 
schools abound.] 

Who is the happy "Warrior ? Who is he 
That every man in arms should wish to be ? 
— It is the generous Spirit, who, when brought 
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought 
Upon the plan that pleased his boyish thought : 
Whose high endeavours are an inward light 
That makes the path before him always bright : 
Who, with a natural instinct to discern 
What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn ; 
Abides by this resolve, and stops not there, 
But makes his moral being his prime care ; 
Who, doomed to go in company with Pain, 
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train ! 
Turns his necessity to glorious gain ; 
In face of these doth exercise a power 
Which is our human nature's highest dower ; 
Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves 
Of their bad influence, and their good receives : 
By objects, which might force the soul to abate 
Her feeling, rendered more compassionate ; 
Is placable — because occasions rise 
So often that demand such sacrifice ; 
More skilful in self-knowledge, even more pure, 
As tempted more ; more able to endure, 



CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY WARRIOR. 235 

As more exposed to suffering and distress ; 

Thence, also, more alive to tenderness. 

— 'Tis he whose law is reason ; who depends 

Upon that law as on the best of friends ; 

Whence, in a state where men are tempted still 

To evil for a guard against worse ill, 

And what in quality or act is best 

Doth seldom on a right foundation rest, 

He labours good on good to fix, and owes 

To virtue every triumph that he knows : 

— Who, if he rise to station of command, 

Rises by open means ; and there will stand 

On honourable terms, or else retire, 

And in himself possess his own desire ; 

Who comprehends his trust, and to the same 

Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim ; 

And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait 

For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state ; 

Whom they must follow ; on whose head must fall, 

Like showers of manna, if they come at all : 

Whose powers shed round him in the common strife, 

Or mild concerns of ordinary life, 

A constant influence, a peculiar grace ; 

But who, if he be called upon to face 

Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined 

Great issues, good or bad for human kind, 

Is happy as a Lover ; and attired 

With sudden brightness, like a Man inspired ; 

And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law 

In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw ; 

Or if an unexpected call succeed, 

Come when it will, is equal to the need : 



236 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

— He who, though thus endued as with a sense 

And faculty for storm and turbulence, 

Is yet a Soul whose master-bias leans 

To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes ; 

Sweet images ! which, wheresoe'er he be, 

Are at his heart ; and such fidelity 

It is his darling passion to approve ; 

More brave for this, that he hath much to love : — 

'Tis, finally, the Man, who, lifted high, 

Conspicuous object in a Nation's eye, 

Or left unthought-of in obscurity, — 

Who, with a toward or untoward lot, 

Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not — 

Plays, in the many games of life, that one 

"Where what he most doth value must be won : 

Whom neither shape of danger can dismay, 

Nor thought of tender happiness betray ; 

Who, not content that former worth stand fast, 

Looks forward, persevering to the last, 

Prom well to better, daily self-surpast : 

Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth 

Por ever, and to noble deeds give birth, 

Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame, 

And leave a dead unprofitable name — 

Pinds comfort in himself and in his cause; 

And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws 

His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause : 

This is the happjr Warrior ; this is He 

That every Man in arms should wish to be. 

1806. 



237 



XXII. 



THE FORCE OF PRAYER*; 

OR, 

THE FOUNDING OF BOLTON PRIORY. 
A TRADITION. 

[An Appendage to the " White Doe." My friend, Mr. Rogers, 
has also written on the subject. The story is preserved in 
Dr. Whitaker's History of Craven — a topographical writer of 
first-rate merit in all that concerns the past ; but such was 
his aversion from the modern spirit, as shown in the spread 
of manufactories in those districts of which he treats, that 
his readers are left entirely ignorant both of the progress of 
these arts and their real bearing upon the comfort, virtues, 
and happiness of the inhabitants. "While wandering on foot 
through the fertile valleys and over the moorlands of the 
Apennine that divides Yorkshire from Lancashire, I used to 
be delighted with observing the number of substantial cottages 
that had sprung up on every side, each having its little plot 
of fertile ground won from the surrounding waste. A bright 
and warm fire, if needed, was always to be found in these 
dwellings. The father was at his loom ; the children looked 
healthy and happy. Is it not to be feared that the increase 
of mechanic power has done away with many of these bless- 
ings, and substituted many evils ? Alas ! if these evils grow, 
how are they to be checked, and where is the remedy to be 
found ? Political economy will not supply it ; that is certain : 
we must look to something deeper, purer, and higher.] 

" Wijat te goo* for a booths bene ? " 

"With these dark words begins my Tale ; 

And their meaning is, whence can comfort spring 

When Prayer is of no avail ? 

* See the White Doe of Eylstone 



238 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

" ®Hf)at is gootl for a booths ficne ? " 

The Falconer to the Lady said ; 

And she made answer " endless soeeow ! ,5 

For she knew that her Son w x as dead. 

She knew it by the Falconer's words, 
And from the look of the Falconer's eye ; 
And from the love which was in her soul 
For her youthful Eomilly. 

— Young Eomilly through Barden woods 

Is ranging high and low ; 

And holds a greyhound in a leash, 

To let slip upon buck or doe. 

The pair have reached that fearful chasm, 
How tempting to bestride ! 
For lordly "Wharf is there pent in 
"With rocks on either side. 

This striding-place is called The Steid, 
A name which it took of yore : 
A thousand years hath it borne that name, 
And shall a thousand more. 

And hither is young Eomilly come, 
And what may now forbid 
That he, perhaps for the hundredth time, 
Shall bound across The Steid ? 

He sprang in glee, — for what cared he 

That the river was strong, and the rocks were steep ?-- 

But the greyhound in the leash hung back, 

And checked him in his leap. 



THE FORCE OF PRAYER. 239 

The Boy is in the arms of "Wharf, 
And strangled by sl merciless force ; 
For never more was young Eomilly seen 
Till he rose a lifeless corse. 

Now there is stillness in the vale, 
And long, unspeaking, sorrow : 
Wharf shall be to pitying hearts 
A name more sad than Yarrow. 

If for a lover the Lady wept, 

A solace she might borrow 

From death, and from the passion of death ; — 

Old Wharf might heal her sorrow. 

She weeps not for the wedding-day 
Which was to be to-morrow : 
Her hope was a further-looking hope, 
And hers is a mother's sorrow. 

He was a tree that stood alone, 
And proudly did its branches wave ; 
And the root of this delightful tree 
Was in her husband's grave ! 

Long, long in darkness did she sit, 
And her first words were, " Let there be 
In Bolton, on the field of Wharf, 
A stately Priory ! " 

The stately Priory was reared ; 
And Wharf, as he moved along, 
To matins joined a mournful voice, 
Nor failed at even-song. 



240 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

And the Lady prayed in heaviness 
That looked not for relief ! 
But slowly did her succour come, 
And a patience to her grief. 

Oh ! there is never sorrow of heart 
That shall lack a timely end, 
If but to God we turn, and ask 
Of Him to be our friend ! 



1808. 



XXIII. 

A FACT, AND AN IMAGINATION; 

on, 
CANUTE AND ALFRED, ON THE SEA-SHORE. 

[The first and last fourteen lines of this poem each make a sonnet, 
and were composed as such ; but I thought that by inter- 
mediate lines they might be connected so as to make a whole. 
One or two expressions are taken from Milton's History of 
England.] 

The Danish Conqueror, on his royal chair, 
Mustering a face of haughty sovereignty, 
To aid a covert purpose, cried — " O ye 
Approaching Waters of the deep, that share 
With this green isle my fortunes, come not where 
Tour Master's throne is set.' 1 — Deaf was the Sea ; 
Her waves rolled on, respecting his decree 
Less than they heed a breath of wanton air. 
— Then Canute, rising from the invaded throne, 
Said to his servile Courtiers, — " Poor the reach, 
The undisguised extent, of mortal sway ! 
He only is a King, and he alone 



A FACT, AND AN IMAGINATION". 241 

Deserves the name (this truth the billows preach) 
Whose everlasting laws, sea, earth, and heaven, obey." 

This just reproof the prosperous Dane 
Drew, from the influx of the main, 
For some whose rugged northern, mouths would strain 
At oriental flattery ; 

And Canute (tact more worthy to be known) 
From that time forth did for his brows disown 
The ostentatious symbol of a crown • 
Esteeming earthly royalty 
Contemptible as vain. 

Now hear what one of elder days, 
Eich theme of England's fondest praise, 
Her darling Alfred, might have spoken ; 
To cheer the remnant of his host 
When he was driven from coast to coast, 
Distressed and harassed, but with mind unbroken : 

" My faithful followers, lo ! the tide is spent 
That rose, and steadily advanced to fill 
The shores and channels, working Nature's will 
Among the mazy streams that backward went, 
And in the sluggish pools where ships are pent : 
And now, his task performed, the flood stands still, 
At the green base of many an inland hill, 
In placid beauty and sublime content ! 
Such the repose that sage and hero find ; 
Such measured rest the sedulous and good 
Of humbler name ; whose souls do, like the flood 
Of Ocean, press right on ; or gently wind, 
Neither to be diverted nor withstood, 
Until they reach the bounds by Heaven assigned." 

1816. 



242 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND EEFLECTION. 



XXIV. 

TO DOEA. 

[The complaint in my eyes which gave occasion to this address to 
my daughter first showed itself as a consequence of inflamma- 
tion, caught at the top of Kirkstone, when I was over-heated 
"by having carried up the ascent my eldest son, a lusty infant. 
Frequently has the disease recurred since, leaving ray eyes in a 
state which has often prevented ray reading for months, and 
makes me at this day incapable of bearing without injury any 
strong light by day or night. My acquaintance with books 
has therefore been far short of my wishes ; and on this 
account, to acknowledge the services daily and hourly done me 
by my family and friends, this note is written.] 

' A little onivard lend thy guiding hand 

To these dark steps, a little further on ! ' 

— What trick of memory to my voice hath brought 

This mournful iteration ? For though Time, 

The Conqueror, crowns the Conquered, on this brow 

Planting his favourite silver diadem, 

Nor he, nor minister of his — intent 

To run before him — hath enrolled me yet, 

Though not unmenaced, among those who lean 

Upon a living staff, with borrowed sight. 

— O my own Dora, my beloved child ! 

Should that day come — but hark ! the birds salute 

The cheerful dawn, brightening for me the east; 

Eor me, thy natural leader, once again 

Impatient to conduct thee, not as erst 

A tottering infant, with compliant stoop 

Erom flower to flower supported ; but to curb 

Thy nymph-like step swift- bounding o'er the lawn, 



TO DORA. 243 

Along the loose rocks, or the slippery verge 

Of foaming torrents. — From thy orisons 

Come forth ; and, while the morning air is yet 

Transparent as the soul of innocent youth, 

Let me, thy happy guide, now point thy way, 

And now precede thee, winding to and fro, 

Till we by perseverance gain the top 

Of some smooth ridge, whose brink precipitous 

Kindles intense desire for powers withheld 

From this corporeal frame ; whereon who stands, 

Is seized with strong incitement to push forth 

His arms, as swimmers use, and plunge — dread thought, 

For pastime plunge — into the ' abrupt abyss,' 

"Where ravens spread their plumy vans, at ease ! 

And yet more gladly thee would I conduct 
Through woods and spacious forests, — to behold 
There, how the Original of human art, 
Heaven-prompted Nature, measures and erects 
Her temples, fearless for the stately work, 
Though waves, to every breeze, its high-arched roof, 
And storms the pillars rock. But we such schools 
Of reverential awe will chiefly seek 
In the still summer noon, while beams of light, 
Reposing here, and in the aisles beyond 
Traceably gliding through the dusk, recal 
To mind the living presences of nuns ; 
A gentle, pensive, white-robed sisterhood, 
Whose saintly radiance mitigates the gloom 
Of those terrestrial fabrics, where they serve, 
To Christ, the Sun of righteousness, espoused. 

Now also shall the page of classic lore, 
To these glad eyes from bondage freed, again 
Lie open ; and the book of Holy Writ, 

r2 



24-1 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Again unfolded, passage clear shall yield 
To heights more glorious still, and into shades 
More awful, where, advancing hand in hand, 
We may be taught, O Darling of my care ! 
To calm the affections, elevate the soul, 
And consecrate our lives to truth and love. 

1816. 



XXY. 

ODE TO LYCOEIS. 

May, 1817. 



[The discerning reader — who is aware that in the poem of Ellen 
Irwin I was desirous of throwing the reader at once out of 
the old ballad, so as if possible, to preclude a comparison 
between that mode of dealing with the subject and the mode I 
meant to adopt — may here perhaps perceive that this poem 
originated in the four last lines of the first stanza. Those 
specks of snow, reflected in the lake and so transferred, as it 
were, to the subaqueous sky, reminded me of the swans which 
the fancy of the ancient classic poets yoked to the car of Venus. 
Hence the tenor of the whole first stanza, and the name of 
Lycoris, which — with some readers who think my theology and 
classical allusion too far-fetched and therefore more or less 
unnatural and affected — will tend to unrealise the sentiment 
that pervades these verses. But surely one who has written 
so much in verse as I have done may be allowed to retrace 
his steps in the regions of fancy which delighted him in his 
boyhood, when he first became acquainted with the Greek and 
Roman Poets. Before I read Virgil I was so strongly attached 
to Ovid, whose Metamorphoses I read at school, that I was 
quite in a passion whenever I found him, in books of criticism, 
placed below Virgil. As to Homer, I was never weary of 
travelling over the scenes through which he led me. Classical 
literature affected me by its own beauty. But the truths of 
scripture having been entrusted to the dead languages, and 
these fountains having been recently laid open at the Reforma- 
tion, an importance and a sanctity were at that period attached 
to classical literature that extended, as is obvious in Milton's 
Lycidas for example, both to its spirit and form in a 
degree that can never be revived. No doubt the hacknied and 



ODE TO LYCORIS. 245 

lifeless use into which mythology fell towards the close of the 
17th century, and which continued through the 18th, dis- 
gusted the general reader with all allusion to it in modern 
verse ; and though, in deference to this disgust, and also in a 
measure participating in it, I abstained in my earlier writings 
from all introduction of pagan fable, surely, even in its humble 
form, it may ally itself with real sentiment, as I can truly 
affirm it did in the present case. ] 

i. 
An age bath been when Earth was proud 
Of lustre too intense 
To be sustained ; and Mortals bowed 
The front in self-defence. 
"Who then, if Dian's crescent gleamed, 
Or Cupid's sparkling arrow streamed 
"While on the wing the Urchin played, 
Could fearlessly approach the shade ? 
— Enough for one soft vernal day, 
If I, a bard of ebbing time, 
And nurtured in a fickle clime, 
May haunt this horned bay ; 
Whose amorous water multiplies 
The flitting halcyon's vivid dyes ; 
And smooths her liquid breast — to show 
These swan-like specks of mountain snow, 
White as the pair that slid along the plains 
Of heaven, when Venus held the reins ! 



In youth we love the darksome lawn 
Brushed by the owlet's wing ; 
Then, Twilight is preferred to Dawn, 
And Autumn to the Spring. 
Sad fancies do we then affect, 
In luxury of disrespect 



246 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

To our own prodigal excess 

Of too familiar happiness. 

Lyeoris (if such name befit 

Thee, thee my life's celestial sign !) 

"When Nature marks the year's decline, 

Be oars to welcome it ; 

Pleased with the harvest hope that runs 

Before the path of milder suns ; 

Pleased while the sylvan world displays 

Its ripeness to the feeding gaze ; 

Pleased when the sullen winds resound the knell 

Of the resplendent miracle. 

in. 
But something whispers to my heart 
That, as we downward tend, 
Lyeoris ! life requires an art 
To which our souls must bend ; 
A skill — to balance and supply ; 
And, ere the flowing fount be dry, 
As soon it must, a sense to sip, 
Or drink, with no fastidious lip. 
Then welcome, above all, the Guest 
"Whose smiles, diffused o'er land and sea, 
Seem to recal the Deity 
Of youth into the breast : 
May pensive Autumn ne'er present 
A claim to her disparagement ! 
While blossoms and the budding spray 
Inspire us in our own decay ; 
Still, as we nearer draw to life's dark goal, 
Be hopeful Spring the favourite of the Soul I 



247 



XXYI. 

TO THE SAME. 

[This as well as the preceding and the two that follow were 
composed in front of Rydal Mount and during my walks in 
the neighbourhood. Nine-tenths of my verses have been 
murmured out in the open air : and here let me repeat what I 
believe has already appeared in print. One day a stranger 
having walked round the garden and grounds of Rydal Mount 
asked one of the female servants, who happened to be at the 
door, permission to see her master's study. " This," said she, 
leading him forward, "is my master's library where he keeps 
his books, but his study is out of doors." After a long 
absence from home it has more than once happened that some 
one of my cottage neighbours has said — "Well, there he is ; we 
are glad to hear him booing about again." Once more in 
excuse for so much egotism let me say, these notes are written 
for my familiar friends, and at their earnest request. Another 
time a gentleman whom James had conducted through the 
grounds asked him what kind of plants throve best there : 
after a little consideration he answered — " Laurels." "That 
is," said the stranger, "as it should be ; don't you know that 
the laurel is the emblem of poetry, and that poets used on 
public occasions to be crowned with it " James stared when 
the question was first put, but was doubtless much pleased 
with the information.] 

Enough of climbing toil ! — Ambition treads 

Here, as 'mid busier scenes, ground steep and rough, 

Or slippery even to peril ! and each step, 

As we for most uncertain recompence 

Mount toward the empire of the fickle clouds, 

Each weary step, dwarfing the world below, 

Induces, for its old familiar sights, 

Unacceptable feelings of contempt, 

With wonder mixed — that Man could e'er be tied, 

In anxious bondage, to such nice array 



248 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

And formal fellowship of petty things ! 
— Oh ! 'tis the heart that magnifies this life, 
Making a truth and beauty of her own ; 
And moss-grown alleys, circumscribing shades. 
And gurgling rills, assist her in the work 
More efficaciously than realms outspread, 
As in a map, before the adventurer's gaze — 
Ocean and Earth contending for regard. 

The umbrageous woods are left — how far beneath I 
But lo ! where darkness seems to guard the mouth 
Of yon wild cave, whose jagged brows are fringed 
With flaccid threads of ivy, in the still 
And sultry air, depending motionless. 
Yet cool the space within, and not uncheered 
(As whoso enters shall ere long perceive) 
By stealthy influx of the timid day 
Mingling with night, such twilight to compose 
As Numa loved ; when, in the Egerian grot, 
From the sage Nymph appearing at his wish, 
He gained whate'er a regal mind might ask, 
Or need, of counsel breathed through lips divine. 

Long as the heat shall rage, let that dim cave 
Protect us, there deciphering as we may 
Diluvian records ; or the sighs of Earth 
Interpreting ; or counting for old Time 
His minutes, by reiterated drops, 
Audible tears, from some invisible source 
That deepens upon fancy — more and more 
Drawn toward the centre whence those sighs creep forth 
To awe the lightness of humanity : 
Or, shutting up thyself within thyself, 
There let me see thee sink into a mood 
Of gentler thought, protracted till thine eye 



SEPTEMBER, 1819. 249 

Be calm as water when the winds are gone, 
And no one can tell whither. Dearest Friend ! 
We too have known such happy hours together 
That, were power granted to replace them (fetched 
From out the pensive shadows where they lie) 
In the first warmth of their original sunshine, 
Loth should I be to use it : passing sweet 
Are the domains of tender memory ! 

1817. 



xxvir. 

SEPTEMBER, 1319. 

The sylvan slopes with corn-clad fields 
Are hung, as if with golden shields, 
Bright trophies of the sun ! 
Like a fair sister of the sky, 
Unrufned doth the blue lake lie, 
The mountains looking on. 

And, sooth to say, yon vocal grove, 
Albeit uninspired by love, 
By love untaught to ring, 
May well afford to mortal ear 
An impulse more profoundly dear 
Than music of the Spring. 

For that from turbulence and heat 
Proceeds, from some uneasy seat 
In nature's struggling frame, 
Some region of impatient life : 
And jealousy, and quivering strife, 
Therein a portion claim. 



250 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

This, this is holy ; — while I hear 
These vespers of another year, 
This hymn of thanks and praise, 
My spirit seems to mount above 
The anxieties of human love, 
And earth's precarious days. 

But list ! — though winter storms be nigh, 
Unchecked is that soft harmony : 
There lives Who can provide 
For all his creatures ; and in Him, 
Even like the radiant Seraphim, 
These choristers confide. 



XXVIII. 

UPON THE SAME OCCASION. 

Departing- summer hath assumed 
An aspect tenderly illumed, 
The gentlest look of spring ; 
That calls from yonder leafy shade 
Ilnfaded, yet prepared to fade, 
A timely carolling. 

~No faint and hesitating trill, 
Such tribute as to winter chill 
The lonely redbreast pays ! 
Clear, loud, and lively is the din, 
From social warblers gathering in 
Their harvest of sweet lays. 



SEPTEMBER, 1819. 251 

Nor doth the example fail to cheer 
Me, conscious that my leaf is sere, 
And yellow on the bough : — 
Fall, rosy garlands, from my head ! 
Ye myrtle wreaths, your fragrance shed 
Around a younger brow ! 

Yet will I temperately rejoice ; 

Wide is the range, and free the choice 

Of undiscordant themes ; 

"Which, haply, kindred souls may prize 

Not less than vernal ecstasies, 

And passion's feverish dreams. 

For deathless powers to verse belong. 
And they like Demi-gods are strong 
On whom the Muses smile ; 
But some their function have disclaimed, 
Best pleased with what is aptliest framed 
To enervate and defile. 

Not such the initiatory strains 

Committed to the silent plains 

In Britain's earliest dawn : 

Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale, 

While all-too-daringly the veil 

Of nature was withdrawn ! 

Nor such the spirit-stirring note 
When the live chords Alcseus smote, 
Inflamed by sense of wrong ; 
Woe ! woe to Tyrants ! from the lyre 
Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire 
Of fierce vindictive song. 



252 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

And not unhallowed was the page 
By wdnged Love inscribed, to assuage 
The pangs of vain pursuit ; 
Love listening w r hile the Lesbian Maid 
"With finest touch of passion swayed 
Her own JEolian lute. 

O ye, who patiently explore 
The wreck of Herculanean lore, 
"What rapture ! could ye seize 
Some Theban fragment, or unroll 
One precious, tender-hearted, scroll 
Of pure Simonides. 

That w T ere, indeed, a genuine birth 
Of poesy ; a bursting forth 
Of genius from the dust : 
What Horace gloried to behold, 
What Maro loved, shall w^e enfold ? 
Can haughty Time be just ! 



MEMORY. 



A pen — to register ; a key — 
That winds through secret wards 
Are well assigned to Memory 
By allegoric Bards. 



1819. 



MEMORY. 253 

As aptly, also, might be given 

A Pencil to her hand ; 

That, softening objects, sometimes even 

Outstrips the heart's demand; 

That smoothes foregone distress, the lines 
Of lingering care subdues, 
Long-vanished happiness refines, 
And clothes in brighter hues ; 

Tet, like a tool of [Fancy, works 
Those Spectres to dilate 
That startle Conscience, as she lurks 
"Within her lonely seat. 

! that our lives, which nee so fast, 
In purity were such, 
That not an image of the past 
Should fear that pencil's touch ! 

Retirement then might hourly look 
Upon a soothing scene, 
Age steal to his allotted nook 
Contented and serene ; 

"With heart as calm as lakes that sleep, 

In frosty moonlight glistening ; 

Or mountain rivers, where they creep 

Along a channel smooth and deep, 

To their own far-off murmurs listening. 

1823. 



254 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



XXX. 

[This Lawn is the sloping one approaching the "kitchen-garden, and 
was made out of it. Hundreds of times have I watched the 
dancing of shadows amid a press of sunshine, and other beau- 
tiful appearances of li^ht and shade, flowers and shrubs. What 
a contrast between this and the cabbages and onions and 
carrots that used to grow there on a piece of ugly -shaped 
unsightly ground ! No reflection however either upon cabbages 
or onions ; the latter we know were worshipped, by the 
Egyptians, and he must have a poor eye for beauty who has 
not observed how much cf it there is in the form and colour 
which cabbages and plants of that genus exhibit through the 
various stages of their growth and decay. A richer display of 
colour in vegetable nature can scarcely be conceived than 
Coleridge, my Sister, and I saw in a bed of potatoe -plants in 
blossom near a hut upon the moor between Inversneyd and 
Loch Katrine. These blossoms were of such extraordinary 
beauty and richness that no one could have passed them with- 
out notice. But the sense must be cultivated through the 
mind before we can perceive these inexhaustible treasures of 
Nature, for such they really are, without the least necessary 
refereuce to the utility of her productions, or even to the laws 
whereupon, as we learn by research, they are dependent. Some 
are of opinion that the habit of analysing, decomposing, and 
anatomising is inevitably unfavourable to the perception of 
beauty. People are led into this mistake by overlooking the 
fact that such processes being to a certain extent within the 
reach of a limited intellect, we are apt to ascribe to them that 
insensibility of which they are in truth the effect and not the 
cause. Admiration and love, to which all knowledge truly 
vital must tend, are felt by men of real genius in proportion as 
their discoveries in natural Philosophy are enlarged ; and the 
beauty in form of a plant or an animal is not made less but 
more apparent as a whole by more accurate insight into its 
constituent properties and powers. A Savant who is not also 
a poet in soul and a religionist in heart is a feeble and unhappy 
creature.] 

This Lawn, a carpet all alive 

With shadows flung from leaves — to strive 



HUMANITY. 255 

In dance, amid a press 
Of sunshine, an apt emblem yields 
Of Worldlings revelling in the fields 

Of strenuous idleness ; 

Less quick the stir when tide and breeze 
Encounter, and to narrow seas 

Eorbid a moment's rest ; 
The medley less when boreal Lights 
Glance to and fro, like aery Sprites 

To feats of arms addrest ! 

Tet, spite of all this eager strife, 
This ceaseless play, the genuine life 

That serves the stedfast hours, 
Is in the grass beneath, that grows 
Unheeded, and the mute repose 

Of sweetly-breathing flowers. 

1829. 



XXXI. 

HUMANITY. 



[These verses and those entitled "Liberty" were composed as one 
piece which Mrs. Wordsworth complained of as unwieldy and 
ill-proportioned ; and accordingly it was divided into two on 
her judicious recommendation.] 

The Rocking- stones, alluded to in the beginning of the following 
verses, are supposed to have been used, by our British ances- 
tors, both for judicial and religious purposes. Such stones are 
not uncommonly found, at this day, both in Gfreat Britain and 
in Ireland. 

Whit though the Accused, upon his own appeal 
To righteous Gods when man has ceased to feel, 



256 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Or at a doubting Judge's stern command, 

Before the Stone oe Power no longer stand — 

To take his sentence from the balanced Block, 

As, at his touch, it rocks, or seems to rock ; 

Though, in the depths of sunless groves, no more 

The Druid-priest the hallowed Oak adore ; 

Yefc, for the Initiate, rocks and whispering trees 

Do still perform mysterious offices ! 

And functions dwell in beast and bird that sway 

The reasoning mind, or with the fancy play, 

Inviting, at all seasons, ears and eyes 

To watch for un delusive auguries : — 

Not uninspired appear their simplest ways ; 

Their voices mount symbolical of praise — 

To mix with hymns that Spirits make and hear ; 

And to fallen man their innocence is dear. 

Enraptured Art draws from those sacred springs 

Streams that reflect the poetry of things ! 

"Where christian Martyrs stand in hues portrayed, 

That, might a wisli avail, would never fade ; 

Borne in their hands the lily and the palm 

Shed round the altar a celestial calm ; 

There, too, behold the lamb and guileless dove 

Prest in the tenderness of virgin love 

To saintly bosoms ! — Glorious is the blending 

Of right affections climbing or descending 

Along a scale of light and life, with cares 

Alternate ; carrying holy thoughts and prayers 

Up to the sovereign seat of the Most High ; 

Descending to the worm in charity ; 

Like those good Angels whom a dream of night 

Gave, in the field of Luz, to Jacob's sight 



HUMANITY. 257 

All, while he slept, treading the pendent stairs 

Earthward or heavenward, radiant messengers, 

That, with a perfect will in one accord 

Of strict obedience, serve the Almighty Lord ; 

And with untired humility forbore 

To speed their errand by the wings they wore. 

"What a fair world were ours for verse to paint, 
If Power could live at ease with self-restraint ! 
Opinion bow before the naked sense 
Of the great Vision, — faith in Providence ; 
Merciful over all his creatures, just 
To the least particle of sentient dust ; 
But, fixing by immutable decrees, 
Seedtime and harvest for his purposes ! 
Then would be closed the restless oblique eye 
That looks for evil like a treacherous spy ; 
Disputes would then relax, like stormy winds 
That into breezes sink ; impetuous minds 
Ey discipline endeavour to grow meek 
As Truth herself, whom they profess to seek. 
Then Genius, shunning fellowship with Pride, 
"Would braid his golden locks at Wisdom's side ; 
Love ebb and flow untroubled by caprice ; 
And not alone harsh tyranny would cease, 
Eut unoffending creatures find release 
Prom qualified oppression, whose defence 
Eests on a hollow plea of recompence ; 
Thought-tempered wrongs, for each humane respect 
Oft worse to bear, or deadlier in effect. 
Witness those glances of indignant scorn 
Prom some high-minded Slave, impelled to spurn 
The kindness that would make him less forlorn ; 



258 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Or, if the soul to bondage be subdued, 
His look of pitiable gratitude ! 

Alas for thee, bright Galaxy of Isles, 
Whose day departs in pomp, returns with smiles — 
To greet the flowers and fruitage of a land, 
As the sun mounts, by sea-born breezes fanned ; 
A land whose azure mountain-tops are seats 
For Gods in council, whose green vales, retreats 
Fit for the shades of heroes, mingling there 
To breathe Elysian peace in upper air. 

Though cold as winter, gloomy as the grave, 
Stone-walls a prisoner make, but not a slave. 
Shall man assume a property in man ? 
Lay on the moral will a withering ban ? 
Shame that our laws at distance still protect 
Enormities, which they at home reject ! 
6 Slaves cannot breathe in England ' — yet that boast 
Is but a mockery ! when from coast to coast, 
Though fettered slave be none, her floors and soil 
Groan underneath a weight of slavish toil, 
Eor the poor Many, measured out by rules 
Fetched with cupidity from heartless schools, 
That to an Idol, falsely called ' the "Wealth 
Of Nations,' sacrifice a People's health, 
Body and mind and soul ; a thirst so keen 
Is ever urging on the vast machine 
Of sleepless Labour, 'mid whose dizzy wheels 
The Power least prized is that which thinks and feels. 

Then, for the pastimes of this delicate age, 
And all the heavy or light vassalage 
"Which for their sakes we fasten, as may suit 
Our varying moods, on human kind or brute, 



THE UNREMITTING VOICE OF NIGHTLY STREAMS. 259 

'Twere well in little, as in great, to pause, 
Lest Fancy trifle with eternal laws. 
Not from his fellows only man may learn 
Eights to compare and duties to discern ! 
All creatures and all objects, in degree, 
Are friends and patrons of humanity. 
There are to whom the garden, grove, and field, 
Perpetual lessons of forbearance yield ; 
Who would not lightly violate the grace 
The lowliest flower possesses in its place ; 
Nor shorten the sweet life, too fugitive, 
"Which nothing less than Infinite Power could give. 

1829. 



XXXII. 

The unremitting voice of nightly streams 

That wastes so oft, we think, its tuneful powers, 

If neither soothing to the worm that gleams 

Through dewy grass, nor small birds hushed in bowers, 

Nor unto silent leaves and drowsy flowers, — 

That voice of unpretending harmony 

(For who what is shall measure by what seems 

To be, or not to be, 

Or tax high Heaven with prodigality ?) 

Wants not a healing influence that can creep 

Into the human breast, and mix with sleep 

To regulate the motion of our dreams 

For kindly issues — as through every clime 

Was felt near murmuring brooks in earliest time ; 

As at this day, the rudest swains who dwell 

Where torrents roar, or hear the tinkling knell 

Of water-breaks, with grateful heart could tell. 

1846, 

s2 



260 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND EEFLECTION. 



XXXIII. 

THOUGHT ON THE SEASONS. 
[Written at Rydal Mount.] 

Flatteked with promise of escape 

From every hurtful blast, 
Spring takes, sprightly May ! thy shape, 

Her loveliest and her last. 

Less fair is summer riding high 

In fierce solstitial power, 
Less fair than when a lenient sky 

Erings on her parting hour. 

When earth repays with golden sheaves 

The labours of the plough, 
And ripening fruits and forest leaves 

All brighten on the bough ; 

What pensive beauty autumn shows, 

Before she hears the sound 
Of winter rushing in, to close 

The emblematic round ! 

Such be our Spring, our Summer such ; 

So may our Autumn blend 
With hoary Winter, and Life touch, 

Through heaven-born hope, her end ! 



1829. 



261 



XXXIV. 

TO . 

UPON THE BIRTH OP HER FIRST-BORN CHILD, MARCH, 1833. 

[Written at Moresby near "Whitehaven, when I was on a visit to 
my son, then Incumbent of that small living. While I am dic- 
tating these notes to my friend, Miss Fenwick, January 24, 
1843, the child upon whose birth these verses were written is 
under my roof, and is of a disposition so promising that the 
wishes and prayers and prophecies which I then breathed forth 
in verse are, through Grod's mercy, likely to be realised.] 

' Turn porro puer, ut ssevis projectus ab undis 
Navita, nudus humi jacet, &c.'— Lucretius. 

Like a shipwrecked Sailor tost 
By rough waves on a perilous coast, 
Lies the Babe, in helplessness 
And in tenderest nakedness, 
Flung by labouring nature forth 
Upon the mercies of the earth. 
Can its eyes beseech ? — no more 
Than the hands are free to implore : 
Voice but serves for one brief cry ; 
Plaint was it ? or prophecy 
Of sorrow that will surely come ? 
Omen of man's grievous doom ! 
But, O Mother ! by the close 
Duly granted to thy throes ; 
By the silent thanks, now tending 
Incense-like to Heaven, descending 
Now to mingle and to move 
With the gush of earthly love, 



262 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND EEFLECTION. 

As a debt to that frail Creature, 
Instrument of struggling Nature 
For the blissful calm, the peace 
Known but to this one release — 
Can the pitying spirit doubt 
That for human-kind springs out 
From the penalty a sense 
Of more than mortal recompence ? 

As a floating summer cloud, 
Though of gorgeous drapery proud, 
To the sun-burnt traveller, 
Or the stooping labourer, 
Oft-times makes its bounty known 
By its shadow round him thrown ; 
So, by chequerings of sad cheer, 
Heavenly Guardians, brooding near, 
Of their presence tell — too bright 
Haply for corporeal sight ! 
Ministers of grace divine 
Feelingly their brows incline 
O'er this seeming Castaway 
Breathing, in the light of day, 
Something like the faintest breath 
That has power to baffle death — 
Beautiful, while very weakness 
Captivates like passive meekness. 

And, sweet Mother ! under warrant 
Of the universal Parent, 
"Who repays in season due 
Them who have, like thee, been true 
To the filial chain let down 
From his everlasting throne, 



To . 263 

Angels hovering round thy couch, 
With their softest whispers vouch, 
That — whatever griefs may fret, 
Cares entangle, sins beset, 
This thy First-born, and with tears 
Stain her cheek in future years — 
Heavenly succour, not denied 
To the babe, whate'er betide, 
"Will to the woman be supplied ! 

Mother ! blest be thy calm ease ; 
Elest the starry promises,— 
And the firmament benign 
Hallowed be it, where they shine ! 
Tes, for them whose souls have scope 
Ample for a winged hope, 
And can earthward bend an ear 
For needful listening, pledge is here, 
That, if thy new-born Charge shall tread 
In thy footsteps, and be led 
Ey that other Guide, whose light 
Of manly virtues, mildly bright, 
Grave him first the wished- for part 
In thy gentle virgin heart ; 
Then, amid the storms of life 
Presignified by that dread strife 
Whence ye have escaped together, 
She may look for serene weather ; 
In all trials sure to find 
Comfort for a faithful mind ; 
Kindlier issues, holier rest, 
Than even now await her prest, 
Conscious Nursling, to thy breast ! 



264 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND EEFLECTION. 



XXXV. 

THE WARNING. 

A SEQUEL TO THE FOREGOING. 

[These lines were composed during the fever spread through the 
Nation by the Reform Bill. As the motives which led to this 
measure, and the good or evil which has attended or has risen 
from it, will be duly appreciated by future historians, there is 
no call for dwelling on the subject in this place. I will content 
myself with saying that the then condition of the people's mind 
is not, in these verses, exaggerated.] 

List, the winds of March are blowing ; 

Her ground-flowers shrink, afraid of showing 

Their meek heads to the nipping air, 

Which ye feel not, happy pair ! 

Sunk into a kindly sleep. 

We, meanwhile, our hope will keep • 

And if Time leagued with adverse Change 

(Too busy fear !) shall cross its range, 

Whatsoever check they bring, 

Anxious duty hindering, 

To like hope our prayers will cling. 

Thus, while the ruminating spirit feeds 
Upon the events of home as life proceeds, 
Affections pure and holy in their source 
Grain a fresh impulse, run a livelier course ; 
Hopes that within the Father's heart prevail, 
Are in the experienced Grandsire's slow to fail ; 
And if the harp pleased his gay youth, it rings 
To his grave touch with no unready strings, 



THE WARNING. 265 

While thoughts press on, and feelings overflow, 
And quick words round him fall like flakes of snow. 

Thanks to the Powers that yet maintain their sway, 
And have renewed the tributary Lay. 
Truths of the heart flock in with eager pace, 
And Fancy greets them with a fond embrace ; 
Swift as the rising sun his beams extends 
She shoots the tidings forth to distant friends ; 
Their gifts she hails (deemed precious, as they prove 
For the unconscious Eabe so prompt a love E) — 
But from this peaceful centre of delight 
Vague sympathies have urged her to take flight : 
Eapt into upper regions, like the bee 
That sucks from mountain heath her honey fee ; 
Or, like the warbling lark intent to shroud 
His head in sunbeams or a bowery cloud, 
She soars — and here and there her pinions rest 
On proud towers, like this humble cottage, blest 
"With a new visitant, an infant guest — 
Towers where red streamers flout the breezy sky 
In pomp foreseen by her creative eye, 
"When feasts shall crowd the hall, and steeple bells 
Grlad proclamation make, and heights and dells 
Catch the blithe music as it sinks and swells, 
And harboured ships, whose pride is on the sea, 
Shall hoist their topmast flags in sign of glee, 
Honouring the hope of noble ancestry. 

But who (though neither reckoning ills assigned 
By Nature, nor reviewing in the mind 
The track that was, and is, and must be, worn 
With weary feet by all of woman born) — 
Shall now by such a gift with joy be moved, 
Nor feel the fulness of that joy reproved ? 



266 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

JSTot He, whose last faint memory will command 

The truth that Britain was his native land ; 

Whose infant soul was tutored to confide 

In the cleansed faith for which her martyrs died ; 

"Whose boyish ear the voice of her renown 

With rapture thrilled; whose Youth revered the crown 

Of Saxon liberty that Alfred wore, 

Alfred, dear Babe, thy great Progenitor ! 

— Not He, who from her mellowed practice drew 

His social sense of just, and fair, and true ; 

And saw, thereafter, on the soil of France 

Rash Polity begin her maniac dance, 

Foundations broken up, the deeps run wild, 

Nor grieved to see (himself not unbeguiled) — • 

Woke from the dream, the dreamer to upbraid, 

And learn how sanguine expectations fade 

When novel trusts by folly are betrayed, — 

To see Presumption, turning pale, refrain 

From further havoc, but repent in vain, — 

Good aims lie down, and perish in the road 

Where guilt had urged them on with ceaseless goad, 

Proofs thickening round her that on public ends 

Domestic virtue vitally depends, 

That civic strife can turn the happiest hearth 

Into a grievous sore of self-tormenting earth. 

Can such a One, dear Babe ! though glad and proud 
To welcome thee, repel the fears that crowd 
Into his English breast, and spare to quake 
Less for his own than for thy innocent sake ? 
Too late — or, should the providence of God 
Lead, through dark ways by sin and sorrow trod, 
Justice and peace to a secure abode, 



THE WARNING. 267 

Too soon — thou com'st into this breathing world ; 
Ensigns of mimic outrage are unfurled. 
"Who shall preserve or prop the tottering Eealm ? 
What hand suffice to govern the state-helm ? 
If, in the aims of men, the surest test 
Of good or bad (whate'er be sought for or profest) 
Lie in the means required, or ways ordained, 
For compassing the end, else never gained ; 
Yet governors and governed both are blind 
To this plain truth, or fling it to the wind ; 
If to expedience principle must bow ; 
Past, future, shrinking up beneath the incumbent Now ; 
If cowardly concession still must feed 
The thirst for power in men who ne'er concede ; 
Nor turn aside, unless to shape a way 
For domination at some riper day ; 
If generous Loyalty must stand in awe 
Of subtle Treason, in his mask of law, 
Or with bravado insolent and hard, 
Provoking punishment, to w T in reward ; 
If office help the factious to conspire, 
And they who should extinguish, fan the fire- 
Then, will the sceptre be a straw, the crown 
Sit loosely, like the thistle's crest of down ; 
To be blown off at will, by Power that spares it 
In cunning patience, from the head that wears it. 

Lost people, trained to theoretic feud ! 
Lost above all, ye labouring multitude ! 
Bewildered whether ye, by slanderous tongues 
Deceived, mistake calamities for wrongs ; 
And over fancied usurpations brood, 
Oft snapping at revenge in sullen mood ; 



268 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND EEFLECTION. 

Or, from long stress of real injuries, fly 

To desperation for a remedy ; 

In bursts of outrage spread your judgments wide, 

And to your wrath cry out, " Be thou our guide ; " 

Or, bound by oaths, come forth to tread earth's floor 

In marshalled thousands, darkening street and moor 

With the worst shape mock-patience ever wore ; 

Or, to the giddy top of self-esteem 

By Flatterers carried, mount into a dream 

Of boundless suffrage, at whose sage behest 

Justice shall rule, disorder be supprest, 

And every man sit down as Plenty's Gruest ! 

— for a bridle bitted with remorse 

To stop your Leaders in their headstrong course ! 

Oh may the Almighty scatter with his grace 

These mists, and lead you to a safer place, 

By paths no human wisdom can foretrace ! 

May He pour round you, from worlds far above 

Man's feverish passions, his pure light of love, 

That quietly restores the natural mien 

To hope, and makes truth willing to be seen ! 

Else shall your blood-stained hands in frenzy reap 

Fields gaily sown when promises were cheap. — 

"Why is the Past belied with wicked art, 

The Future made to play so false a part, 

Among a people famed for strength of mind, 

Foremost in freedom, noblest of mankind ? 

We act as if we joyed in the sad tune 

Storms make in rising, valued in the moon 

Nought but her changes. Thus, ungrateful Nation ! 

If thou persist, and, scorning moderation, 

Spread for thyself the snares of tribulation, 



IF THIS GREAT WORLD OF JOY AND PAIN. 269 

Whom, then, shall meekness guard ? "What saving skill 
Lie in forbearance, strength in standing still ? 
— Soon shall the widow (for the speed of Time 
Nought equals when the hours are winged with crime) 
Widow, or wife, implore on tremulous knee, 
From him who judged her lord, a like decree ; 
The skies will weep o'er old men desolate : 
Te little-ones ! Earth shudders at your fate, 

Outcasts and homeless orphans 

But turn, my Soul, and from the sleeping pair 
Learn thou the beauty of omniscient care ! 
Be strong in faith, bid anxious thoughts lie still ; 
Seek for the good and cherish it — the ill 
Oppose, or bear with a submissive will. 

1833, 



xxxvi. 



If this great world of joy and pain 

Bevolve in one sure track ; 
If freedom, set, will rise again, 

And virtue, flown, come back ; 
Woe to the purblind crew who fill 

The heart with each day's care ; 
Nor gain, from past or future, skill 

To bear, and to forbear ! 



1833. 



270 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



XXXVII. 

THE LABOURER'S NOON-DAY HYMN. 

[Bishop Ken's Morning and Evening Hymns are, as they deserve 
to be, familiarly known. Many other hymns have also been 
written on the same subject ; but, not being aware of any being 
designed for noon-day, I was induced to compose these verses. 
Often one has occasion to observe cottage children carrying, in 
their baskets, dinner to their Fathers engaged with their daily 
labours in the fields and woods. How gratifying would it be 
to me could I be assured that any portion of these stanzas had 
been sung by such a domestic concert under such circumstances. 
A friend of mine has told me that she introduced this Hymn 
into a village-school which she superintended, and the stanzas 
in succession furnished her with texts to comment upon in a 
way which without difficulty was made intelligible to the 
children, and in which they obviously took delight, and they 
were taught to sing it to the tune of the old 100th Psalm.] 

Up to the throne of God is borne 
The voice of praise at early morn, 
And he accepts the punctual hymn 
Sung as the light of day grows dim : 

Nor will he turn his ear aside 
Prom holy offerings at noontide : 
Then here reposing let us raise 
A song of gratitude and praise. 

"What though our burthen be not light 
"We need not toil from morn to night ; 
The respite of the mid-day hour 
Is in the thankful Creature's power. 



THE LABOURER'S NOON-DAY HYMN. 271 

Blest are the moments, doubly blest, 
That, drawn from this one hour of rest, 
Are with a ready heart bestowed 
Upon the service of our God ! 

Each field is then a hallowed spot, 
An altar is in each man's cot, 
A church in every grove that spreads 
Its living roof above our heads. 

Look up to Heaven ! the industrious Sun 
Already half his race hath run ; 
He cannot halt nor go astray, 
But our immortal Spirits may. 

Lord ! since his rising in the East, 
If we have faltered or transgressed, 
Guide, from thy love's abundant source, 
What yet remains of this day's course : 

Help with thy grace, through life's short day, 
Our upward and our downward way ; 
And glorify for us the west, 
"When we shall sink to final rest. 

1834. 



272 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 



XXXYIII. 

ODE, 

COMPOSED ON MAY MORNING. 

[This and the following poem originated in the lines " How 
delicate the leafy veil," &e. — My daughter and I left Rydal 
Mount upon a tour through our mountains with Mr. and 
Mrs. Carr in the month of May, 1826, and as we were going 
up the vale of Newlands I was struck with the appearance of 
the little chapel gleaming through the veil of half- opened 
leaves ; and the feeling which was then conveyed to my mind 
was expressed in the stanza referred to above. As in the case 
of "Liberty" and " Humanity," my first intention was to 
write only one poem, but subsequently I broke it into two, 
making additions to each part so as to produce a consistent 
and appropriate whole. ] 

While from the purpling east departs 

The star that led the dawn, 
Blithe Flora from her couch upstarts, 

For May is on the lawn. 
A quickening hope, a freshening glee, 

Foreran the expected Power, 
Whose first-drawn breath, from bush and tree, 

Shakes off that pearly shower. 

All Nature welcomes Her whose sway 

Tempers the year's extremes ; 
Who scattereth lustres o'er noon-day, 

Like morning's dewy gleams ; 
While mellow warble, sprightly trill, 

The tremulous heart excite ; 
And hums the balmy air to still 

The balance of delight. 



ODE. 273 

Time was, blest Power ! when youths and maids 

At peep of dawn would rise, 
And wander forth, in forest glades 

Thy birth to solemnize. 
Though mute the song — to grace the rite 

Untouched the hawthorn bough, 
Thy Spirit triumphs o'er the slight ; 

Man changes, but not Thou ! 

Thy feathered Lieges bill and wings 

In love's disport employ; 
Warmed by thy influence, creeping things 

Awake to silent joy : 
Queen art thou still for each gay plant 

Where the slim wild deer roves ; 
And served in depths where fishes haunt 

Their own mysterious groves. 



Cloud-piercing peak, and trackless heath, 

Instinctive homage pay ; 
Nor wants the dim-lit cave a wreath 

To honour thee, sweet May ! 
Where cities fanned by thy brisk airs 

Behold a smokeless sky, 
Their puniest flower-pot-nursling dares 

To open a bright eye. 

And if, on this thy natal morn, 
The pole, from which thy name 

Hath not departed, stands forlorn 
Of song and dance and game ; 

VOL. IV 



274 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Still from the village-green a vow 

Aspires to thee addrest, 
Wherever peace is on the brow, 

Or love within the breast. 



Tes ! where Love nestles thou canst teach 

The soul to love the more ; 
Hearts also shall thy lessons reach 

That never loved before. 
Stript is the haughty one of pride, 

The bashful freed from fear, 
"While rising, like the ocean-tide, 

In flows the joyous year. 

Hush, feeble lyre ! weak words refuse 

The service to prolong ! 
To yon exulting thrush the Muse 

Entrusts the imperfect song ; 
His voice shall chant, in accents clear, 

Throughout the live-long day, 
Till the first silver star appear, 

The sovereignty of May. 

1826. 



275 



XXXIX. 

TO MAY. 



Though many suns have risen and set 

Since thou, blithe May, wert born, 
And Bards, who hailed thee, may forget 

Thy gifts, thy beauty scorn ; 
There are who to a birthday strain 

Confine not harp and voice, 
But evermore throughout thy reign 

Are grateful and rejoice ! 

Delicious odours ! music sweet, 

Too sweet to pass away ! 
Oh for a deathless song to meet 

The soul's desire — a lay 
That, when a thousand years are told, 

Should praise thee, genial Power ! 
Through summer heat, autumnal cold, 

And winter's dreariest hour. 

Earth, sea, thy presence feel — nor less, 

If yon ethereal blue 
"With its soft smile the truth express, 

The heavens have felt it too. 
The inmost heart of man if glad 

Partakes a livelier cheer ; 
And eyes that cannot but be sad 

Let fall a brightened tear. 

T 2 



>76 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

Since thy return, through days and weeks 

Of hope that grew by stealth, 
How many wan and faded cheeks 

Have kindled into health ! 
The Old, by thee revived, have said, 

" Another year is ours ;" 
And wayworn "Wanderers, poorly fed, 

Have smiled upon thy flowers. 



Who tripping lisps a merry song 

Amid his playful peers ? 
The tender Infant who was long 

A prisoner of fond fears ; 
But now, when every sharp-edged blast 

Is quiet in its sheath, 
His Mother leaves him free to taste 

Earth's sweetness in thy breath. 

Thy help is with the weed that creeps 

Along the humblest ground ; 
No cliff so bare but on its steeps 

Thy favours may be found ; 
But most on some peculiar nook 

That our own hands have drest, 
Thou and thy train are proud to look, 

And seem to love it best. 



And yet how pleased we wander forth 
When May is whispering, " Come ! 

" Choose from the bowers of virgin earth 
" The happiest for your home ; 



TO MAY. 277 

" Heaven's bounteous love through me is spread 
" Erom sunshine, clouds, winds, waves, 

" Drops on the mouldering turret's head, 
" And on your turf-clad graves !" 

Such greeting heard, away with sighs 

For lilies that must fade, 
Or c the rathe primrose as it dies 

Forsaken' in the shade ! 
Vernal fruitions and desires 

Are linked in endless chase ; 
While, as one kindly growth retires, 

Another takes its place. 

And what if thou, sweet May, hast known 

Mishap by worm and blight ; 
If expectations newly blown 

Have perished in thy sight ; 
If loves and joys, while up they sprung, 

Were caught as in a snare ; 
Such is the lot of all the young, 

However bright and fair. 

Lo ! Streams that April could not check 

Are patient of thy rule ; 
Gurgling in foamy water-break, 

Loitering in glassy pool : 
By thee, thee only, could be sent 

Such gentle mists as glide, 
Curling with unconfirmed intent, 

On that green mountain's side. 



278 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

How delicate the leafy veil 

Through which yon house of God 
Gleams 'mid the peace of this deep dale 

By few but shepherds trod! 
And lowly huts, near beaten ways, 

'No sooner stand attired 
In thy fresh wreaths, than they for praise 

Peep forth, and are admired. 

Season of fancy and of hope, 

Permit not for one hour, 
A blossom from thy crown to drop, 

Nor add to it a flower ! 
Keep, lovely May, as if by touch 

Of self- restraining art, 
This modest charm of not too much, 

Part seen, imagined part ! 

1826—1834. 



XL. 

LINES 

SUGGESTED BY A PORTRAIT FROM THE PENCIL OP F. STONE. 

[This Portrait has hung for many years in our principal sitting- 
room, and represents J. Q. as she was when a girl. The 
picture, though it is somewhat thinly painted, has much merit 
in tone and general effect : it is chiefly valuable, however, 
from the sentiment that pervades it. The Anecdote of the 
saying of the Monk in sight of Titian's picture was told in this 
house by Mr. Wilkie, and was, I believe, first communicated 
to the public in this poem, the former portion of which I was 
composing at the time. Southey heard the story from Miss 
Hutchinson, and transferred it to the "Doctor;" but it is 
not easy to explain how my friend Mr. Rogers, in a note 



LINES. 279 

subsequently added to his " Italy," was led to speak of the 
same remarkable words having many years before been spoken 
in his hearing by a monk or priest in front of a picture of the 
Last Supper, placed over a Eefectory-table in a convent at 
Padua.] 

Beguiled into forgetfulness of care 

Due to the day's unfinished task ; of pen 

Or book regardless, and of that fair scene 

In Nature's prodigality displayed 

Before my window, oftentimes and long 

I gaze upon a Portrait whose mild gleam 

Of beauty never ceases to enrich 

The common light ; whose stillness charms the air, 

Or seems to charm it, into like repose ; 

"Whose silence, for the pleasure of the ear, 

Surpasses sweetest music. There she sits 

With emblematic purity attired 

In a white vest, white as her marble neck 

Is, and the pillar of the throat would be 

But for the shadow by the drooping chin 

Cast into that recess — the tender shade, 

The shade and light, both there and every where, 

And through the very atmosphere she breathes, 

Broad, clear, and toned harmoniously, with skill 

That might from nature have been learnt in the hour 

When the lone shepherd sees the morning spread 

Upon the mountains. Look at her, whoe'er 

Thou be that, kindling with a poet's soul, 

Hast loved the painter's true Promethean craft 

Intensely — from Imagination take 

The treasure, — what mine eyes behold, see thou, 

Even though the Atlantic ocean roll between. 

A silver line, that runs from brow to crown 

And in the middle parts the braided hair, 



280 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND EEFLECTION. 

Just serves to show how delicate a soil 

The golden harvest grows in ; and those eyes, 

Soft and capacious as a cloudless sky 

"Whose azure depth their colour emulates, 

Must needs be conversant with upward looks, 

Prayer's voiceless service ; but now, seeking nought 

And shunning nought, their own peculiar life 

Of motion they renounce, and with the head 

Partake its inclination towards earth 

In humble grace, and quiet pensiveness 

Caught at the point where it stops short of sadness. 

Offspring of soul-bewitching Art, make me 
Thy confidant ! say, whence derived that air 
Of calm abstraction ? Can the ruling thought 
Be with some lover far away, or one 
Crossed by misfortune, or of doubted faith ? 
Inapt conjecture ! Childhood here, a moon 
Crescent in simple loveliness serene, 
Has but approached the gates of womanhood, 
Not entered them ; her heart is yet unpierced 
By the blind Archer-god ; her fancy free : 
The fount of feeling, if unsought elsewhere, 
"Will not be found. 

Her right hand, as it lies 
Across the slender wrist of the left arm 
Upon her lap reposing, holds — but mark 
How slackly, for the absent mind permits 
No firmer grasp — a little wild-flower, joined 
As in a posy, with a few pale ears 
Of yellowing corn, the same that overtopped 
And in their common birthplace sheltered it 
'Till they were plucked together ; a blue flower 
Called by the thrifty husbandman a weed ; 



LINES. 281 

But Ceres, in her garland, might have worn 
That ornament, unblamed. The floweret, held 
In scarcely conscious fingers, was, she knows, 
(Her Father told her so) in youth's gay dawn 
Her Mother's favourite ; and the orphau Girl, 
In her own dawn — a dawn less gay and bright, 
Loves it, while there in solitary peace 
She sits, for that departed Mother's sake. 
— Not from a source less sacred is derived 
(Surely I do not err) that pensive air 
Of calm abstraction through the face diffused 
And the whole person. 

"Words have something told 
More than the pencil can, and verily 
More than is needed, but the precious Art 
Forgives their interference — Art divine, 
That both creates and fixes, in despite 
Of Death and Time, the marvels it hath wrought. 

Strange contrasts have we in this world of ours ! 
That posture, and the look of filial love 
Thinking of past and gone, with what is left 
Dearly united, might be swept away 
From this fair Portrait's fleshly Archetype, 
Even by an innocent fancy's slightest freak 
Banished, nor ever, haply, be restored 
To their lost place, or meet in harmony 
So exquisite ; but here do they abide, 
Enshrined for ages. Is not then the Art 
Godlike, a humble branch of the divine, 
In visible quest of immortality, 

Stretched forth with trembling hope ? — In every realm, 
From high Gibraltar to Siberian plains, 
Thousands, in each variety of tongue 



282 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

That Europe knows, would echo this appeal • 

One above all, a Monk who waits on God 

In the magnific Convent built of yore 

To sanctify the Escurial palace. He — 

Guiding, from cell to cell and room to room, 

A British Painter (eminent for truth 

In character, and depth of feeling, shown 

By labours that have touched the hearts of kings, 

And are endeared to simple cottagers) — 

Came, in that service, to a glorious work, 

Our Lord's Last Supper, beautiful as when first 

The appropriate Picture, fresh from Titian's hand, 

Graced the Refectory : and there, while both 

Stood with eyes fixed upon that masterpiece, 

The hoary Father in the Stranger's ear 

Breathed out these words : — " Here daily do we sit, 

Thanks given to God for daily bread, and here 

Pondering the mischiefs of these restless times, 

And thinking of my Brethren, dead, dispersed, 

Or changed and changing, I not seldom gaze 

Upon this solemn Company unmoved 

By shock of circumstance, or lapse of years, 

Until I cannot but believe that they — 

They are in truth the Substance, we the Shadows." 

So spake the mild Jeronymite, his griefs 
Melting away within him like a dream 
Ere he had ceased to gaze, perhaps to speak : 
And I, grown old, but in a happier land, 
Domestic Portrait ! have to verse consigned 
In thy calm presence those heart-moviug words : 
Words that can soothe, more than they agitate ; 
Whose spirit, like the angel that went down 
Into Bethesda's pool, with healing virtue 



THE FOREGOING SUBJECT RESUMED. 283 

Informs the fountain in the human breast 
Which by the visitation was disturbed. 
— But why this stealing tear ? Companion mute, 
On thee I look, not sorrowing ; fare thee well, 
My Song's Inspirer, once again farewell!* 

1834. 



XLI. 

THE FOREGOING SUBJECT RESUMED. 

Among a grave fraternity of Monks, 

Por One, but surely not for One alone, 

Triumphs, in that great work, the Painter's skill, 

Humbling the body, to exalt the soul ; 

Yet representing, amid wreck and wrong 

And dissolution and decay, the warm 

And breathing life of flesh, as if already 

Clothed with impassive majesty, and graced 

With no mean earnest of a heritage 

Assigned to it in future worlds. Thou, too, 

"With thy memorial flower, meek Portraiture ! 

Prom whose serene companionship I passed 

Pursued by thoughts that haunt me still ; thou also— 

Though but a simple object, into light 

Called forth by those affections that endear 

The private hearth ; though keeping thy sole seat 

In singleness, and little tried by time, 

Creation, as it were, of yesterday — 

* The pile of buildings, composing the palace and convent of San 
Lorenzo, has, in common usage, lost its proper name in that of the Escu- 
rial, a village at the foot of the hill upon which the splendid edifice, built 
by Philip the Second, stands. It need scarcely be added, that Wilkie is 
the painter alluded to. 



284 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

"With a congenial function art endued 

Eor each and all of us, together joined 

In course of nature under a low roof 

By charities and duties that proceed 

Out of the bosom of a wiser vow. 

To a like salutary sense of awe 

Or sacred wonder, growing with the power 

Of meditation that attempts to weigh, 

In faithful scales, things and their opposites, 

Can thy enduring quiet gently raise 

A household small and sensitive, — whose love, 

Dependent as in part its blessings are 

Upon frail ties dissolving or dissolved 

On earth, will be revived, we trust, in heaven.* 

1834. 



XLII. 

So fair, so sweet, withal so sensitive, 

Would that the little Flowers were born to live, 

Conscious of half the pleasure which they give ; 

That to this mountain-daisy's self were known 
The beauty of its star-shaped shadow, thrown 
On the smooth surface of this naked stone ! 



* In the class entitled "Musings," in Mr. Southey's Minor Poems, is 
one upon his own miniature Picture, taken in childhood, and another 
upon a landscape painted by Gaspar Poussin. It is possible that every 
word of the above verses, though similar in subject, might have been 
written had the author been unacquainted with those beautiful effusions 
of poetic sentiment. But, for his own satisfaction, he must be allowed 
thus publicly to acknowledge the pleasure those two Poems of his Friend 
have given him, and the grateful influence they have upon his mind as 
often as he reads them, or thinks of them. 



UPON SEEING A COLOURED DRAWING. 235 

And what if hence a bold desire should mount 
High as the Sun, that he could take account 
Of all that issues from his glorious fount ! 

So might he ken how by his sovereign aid 

These delicate companionships are made ; 

And how he rules the pomp of light and shade ; 

And were the Sister-power that shines by night 

So privileged, what a countenance of delight 

Would through the clouds break forth on human sight ! 

Fond fancies ! wheresoe'er shall turn thine eye 
On earth, air, ocean, or the starry sky, 
Converse with Nature in pure sympathy ; 

All vain desires, all lawless wishes quelled, 
Be Thou to love and praise alike impelled, 
"Whatever boon is granted or withheld. 



XLIII. 

UPON SEEING A COLOURED DRAWING OF THE BIRD OF 
PARADISE IN AN ALBUM. 

[I cannot forbear to record that the last seven lines of this Poem 
were composed in bed during the night of the day on which my 
sister Sara Hutchinson died about 6 p.m., and it was the 
thought of her innocent and beautiful life that, through faith, 
prompted the words — 

V On wings that fear no glance of God's pure sight, 
No tempest from his breath." 

The reader will find two poems on pictures of this bird among 
my Poems. I will here observe that in a far greater number 
of instances than have been mentioned in these notes one poem 



286 POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION. 

has, as in this case, grown out of another, either "because I felt the 
subject had been inadequately treated, or that the thoughts and 
images suggested in course of composition have been such as I 
found interfered with the unity indispensable to every work of 
art, however humble in character.] 



Who rashly strove thy Image to portray ? 

Thou buoyant minion of the tropic air ; 

How could he think of the live creature — gay 

With a divinity of colours, drest 

In all her brightness, from the dancing crest 

Far as the last gleam of the filmy train 

Extended and extending to sustain 

The motions that it graces — and forbear 

To drop his pencil ! Mowers of every clime 

Depicted on these pages smile at time ; 

And gorgeous insects copied with nice care 

Are here, and likenesses of many a shell 

Tossed ashore by restless waves, 

Or in the diver's grasp fetched up from caves 

Where sea-nymphs might be proud to dwell : 

But whose rash hand (again I ask) could dare, 

'Mid casual tokens and promiscuous shows, 

To circumscribe this Shape in fixed repose ; 

Could imitate for indolent survey, 

Perhaps for touch profane, 

Plumes that might catch, but cannot keep, a stain ; 

And, with cloud-streaks lightest and loftiest, share 

The sun's first greeting, his last farewell ray ! 

Eesplendent Wanderer ! followed with glad eyes 
Where'er her course ; mysterious Bird ! 
To whom, by wondering Pancy stirred, 
Eastern Islanders have given 
A holy name — the Bird of Heaven ! 



UPON SEEING A COLOURED DRAWING. 287 

And even a title higher still, 

The Bird of God ! whose blessed will 

She seems performing as she flies 

Over the earth and through the skies 

In never-wearied search of Paradise — 

Region that crowns her beauty with the name 

She bears for us — for us how blest, 

How happy at all seasons, could like aim 

Uphold our Spirits urged to kindred flight 

On wings that fear no glance of God's pure sight, 

No tempest from his breath, their promised rest 

Seeking with indefatigable quest 

Above a world that deems itself most wise 

"When most enslaved by gross realities ! 

1835. 



•SONNETS 

DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 
I. 

COMPOSED AFTER READING A NEWSPAPER OF THE DAY. 

" People ! your chains are severing link by link ; 

Soon shall the Rich be levelled down — the Poor 

Meet them half way.' * Vain boast ! for These, the more 

They thus would rise, must low and lower sink 

Till, by repentance stung, they fear to think ; 

"While all lie prostrate, save the tyrant few 

Bent in quick turns each other to undo, 

And mix the poison, they themselves must drink. 

Mistrust thyself, vain Country ! cease to cry, 

" Knowledge will save me from the threatened woe." 

For, if than other rash ones more thou know, 

Yet on presumptuous wing as far would fly 

Above thy knowledge as they dared to go, 

Thou wilt provoke a heavier penalty. 



ii. 

upon the late general fast. 
March, 1832. 



Reluctant call it was ; the rite delayed ; 
And in the Senate some there were who doffed 



SONNETS DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 289 

The last of their humanity, and scoffed 

At providential judgments, undismayed 

By their own daring. Bat the People prayed 

As with one voice ; their flinty heart grew soft 

With penitential sorrow, and aloft 

Their spirit mounted, crying, " God us aid !" 

Oh that with aspirations more intense, 

Chastised by self-abasement more profound, 

This People, once so happy, so renowned 

Por liberty, would seek from Grod defence 

Against far heavier ill, the pestilence 

Of revolution, impiously unbound ! 



in. 



Said Secrecy to Cowardice and Praud, 

Palsehood and Treachery, in close council met, 

Deep under ground, in Pluto's cabinet, 

" The frost of England's pride will soon be thawed ; 

" Hooded the open brow that overawed 

" Our schemes ; the faith and honour, never yet 

" By us with hope encountered, be upset ; — 

" Por once I burst my bands, and cry, applaud !'" 

Then whispered she, " The Bill is carrying out ! '.' 

They heard, and, starting up, the Brood of Night 

Clapped hands, and shook with glee their matted locks ; 

All Powers and Places that abhor the light 

Joined in the transport, echoed back their shout, 

Hurrah for •, hugging his Ballot-box ! 



290 SONNETS DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 



IT. 

Blest Statesman He, whose Mind's unselfish will 

Leaves him at ease among grand thoughts : whose eye 

Sees that, apart from magnanimity, 

Wisdom exists not ; nor the humbler skill 

Of Prudence, disentangling good and ill 

With patient care. What tho' assaults run high, \— 

They daunt not him who holds his ministry, 

Resolute, at all hazards, to fulfil 

Its duties ; — prompt to move, but firm to wait, — 

Knowing, things rashly sought are rarely found ; 

That, for the functions of an ancient State — 

Strong by her charters, free because imbound, 

Servant of Providence, not slave of Pate — 

Perilous is sweeping change, all chance unsound. 



v. 

IN ALLUSION TO VARIOUS RECENT HISTOEIES AND NOTICES OF 
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. 

Portentotjs change when History can appear 
As the cool Advocate of foul device ; 
Reckless audacity extol, and jeer 
At consciences perplexed with scruples nice ! 
They who bewail not, must abhor, the sneer 
Born of Conceit, Power's blind Idolater; 
Or haply sprung from vaunting Cowardice 
Betrayed by mockery of holy fear. 



SONNETS DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 291 

Hath it not long been said the wrath of Man 
"Works not the righteousness of God ? Oh bend, 
Bend, ye Perverse ! to judgments from on High, 
Laws that lay under Heaven's perpetual ban 
All principles of action that transcend 
The sacred limits of humanity. 



CONTINUED. 



"Who ponders National events shall find 
An awful balancing of loss and gain, 
Joy based on sorrow, good with ill combined, 
And proud deliverance issuing out of pain 
And direful throes ; as if the All-ruling Mind, 
With whose perfection it consists to ordain 
Volcanic burst, earthquake, and hurricane, 
Dealt in like sort with feeble human kind 
By laws immutable. But woe for him 
Who thus deceived shall lend an eager hand 
To social havoc. Is not Conscience ours, 
And Truth, whose eye guilt only can make dim ; 
And Will, whose office, by divine command, 
Is to control and check disordered Powers ? 



VII. 
CONCLUDED. 



Long-favoured England ! be not thou misled 
By monstrous theories of alien growth, 
Lest alien frenzy seize thee, waxing wroth, 
Self-smitten till thy garments reek dyed red 

u 2 



292 SONNETS DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 

With thy own blood, which tears in torrents shed 
Fail to wash out, tears flowing ere thy troth 
Be plighted, not to ease but sullen sloth, 
Or wan despair — the ghost of false hope fled 
Into a shameful grave. Among thy youth, 
My Country ! if such warning be held dear, 
Then shall a Veteran's heart be thrilled with joy, 
One who would gather from eternal truth, 
For time and season, rules that work to cheer — 
Not scourge, to save the People — not destroy. 



VIII. 

Men of the "Western "World ! in Fate's dark book 

Whence these opprobrious leaves of dire portent f 

Think ye your British Ancestors forsook 

Their native Land, for outrage provident ; 

From unsubmissive necks the bridle shook 

To give, in their Descendants, freer vent 

And wider range to passions turbulent, 

To mutual tyranny a deadlier look ? 

Nay, said a voice, soft as the south wind's breath, 

Dive through the stormy surface of the flood 

To the great current flowing underneath ; 

Explore the countless springs of silent good ; 

So shall the truth be better understood, 

And thy grieved Spirit brighten strong in faith.* 

* See Notes. 



SONNETS DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 293 



TO THE PENNSYLVANIANS. 



Days undefiled by luxury or sloth, 

Firm self-denial, manners grave and staid, 

Rights equal, laws with cheerfulness obeyed, 

Words that require no sanction from an oath, 

And simple honesty a common growth — 

This high repute, witli bounteous Nature's aid, 

"Won confidence, now ruthlessly betrayed 

At will, your power the measure of your troth ! — 

All who revere the memory of Penn 

Grieve for the land on whose wild woods his name 

Was fondly grafted with a virtuous aim, 

Renounced, abandoned by degenerate Men 

For state- dishonour black as ever came 

To upper air from Mammon's loathsome den. 



AT BOLOGNA, IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE LATE INSURRECTIONS, 

1837. 



Ah why deceive ourselves ! by no mere fit 
Of sudden passion roused shall men attain 
True freedom where for ages they have lain 
Bound in a dark abominable pit, 



294 SONNETS DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 

"With life's best sinews more and more unknit. 
Here, there, a banded few who loathe the chain 
May rise to break it : effort worse than vain 
For thee, great Italian nation, split 
Into those jarring fractions. — Let thy scope 
Ee one fixed mind for all ; thy rights approve 
To thy own conscience gradually renewed ; 
Learn to make Time the father of wise Hope ; 
Then trust thy cause to the arm of Fortitude, 
The light of Knowledge, and the warmth of Love. 



xr. 

CONTINUED. 



Hard task ! exclaim the undisciplined, to lean 
On Patience coupled with such slow endeavour, 
That long-lived servitude must last for ever. 
Perish the grovelling few, who, prest between 
Wrongs and the terror of redress, would wean 
Millions from glorious aims. Our chains to sever 
Let us break forth in tempest now or never ! — 
"What, is there then no space for golden mean 
And gradual progress ? — Twilight leads to day, 
And, even within the burning zones of earth, 
The hastiest sunrise yields a temperate ray ; 
The softest breeze to fairest flowers gives birth : 
Think not that Prudence dwells in dark abodes, 
She scans the future with the eye of gods. 



SONNETS DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 295 



XII. 

CONCLUDED. 
III. 

As leaves are to the tree whereon they grow 

And wither, every human generation 

Is, to the Being of a mighty nation, 

Locked in our world's embrace through weal and woe 

Thought that should teach the zealot to forego 

Eash schemes, to abjure all selfish agitation, 

And seek through noiseless pains and moderation 

The unblemished good they only can bestow. 

Alas ! with most, who weigh futurity 

Against time present, passion holds the scales : 

Hence equal ignorance of both prevails, 

And nations sink ; or, struggling to be free, 

Are doomed to flounder on, like wounded whales 

Tossed on the bosom of a stormy sea. 



XIII. 



Young England — what is then become of Old 
Of dear Old England ? Think they she is dead, 
Dead to the very name ? Presumption fed 
On empty air ! That name will keep its hold 
In the true filial bosom's inmost fold 
Eor ever. — The Spirit of Alfred, at the head 
Of all who for her rights watched, toiled and bled, 
Knows that this prophecy is not too bold. 



296 SONNETS DEDICATED TO LIBERTY AND ORDER. 

"What — how ! shall she submit in will and deed 

To Beardless Boys — an imitative race, 

The servum pecus of a Gallic breed ? 

Dear Mother ! if thou must thy steps retrace, 

Go where at least meek Innocency dwells ; 

Let Babes and Sucklings be thy oracles. 



XIV, 

[This Sonnet is recommended to the perusal of all those who consider 
that the evils under which we groan are to be removed or 
palliated by measures ungoverned by moral and religious 
principles, ] 

Feel for the wrongs to universal ken 
Daily exposed, woe that unshrouded lies ; 
And seek the Sufferer in his darkest den, 
Whether conducted to the spot by sighs 
And moanings, or he dwells (as if the wren 
Taught him concealment) hidden from all eyes 
In silence and the awful modesties 
Of sorrow ; — feel for all, as brother Men ! 
Best not in hope want's icy chain to thaw 
By casual boons and formal charities ; 
Learn to be just, just through impartial law ; 
Far as ye may, erect and equalise ; 
And, what ye cannot reach by statute, draw 
Each from his fountain of self-sacrifice ! 



SONNETS 

UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. 

IX SERIES. 



SUGGESTED BY THE VIEW OF LANCASTER CLASTLE (ON TIIE ROAD 
FROM THE SOUTH). 

This Spot — at once unfolding sight so fair 

Of sea and land, with yon grey towers that still 

Kise up as if to lord it over air — 

Might soothe in human breasts the sense of ill, 

Or charm it out of memory ; yea, might fill 

The heart with joy and gratitude to God 

Tor all his bounties upon man bestowed : 

Why bears it then the name of " Weeping Hill " ? 

Thousands, as toward yon old Lancastrian Towers, 

A prison's crown, along this way they past 

Tor lingering durance or quick death with shame, 

From this bare eminence thereon have cast 

Their first look — blinded as tears fell in showers 

Shed on their chains ; and hence that doleful name. 



SONNETS UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. 



II. 



Tendeely do we feel by Nature's law 

For worst offenders : though the heart will heave 

With indignation, deeply moved we grieve, 

In after thought, for Him who stood in awe 

Neither of God nor man, and only saw, 

Lost wretch, a horrible device enthroned 

On proud temptations, till the victim groaned 

Under the steel his hand had dared to draw. 

But 0, restrain compassion, if its course, 

As oft befals, prevent or turn aside 

Judgments and aims and acts whose higher source 

Is sympathy with the unforewarned, who died 

Blameless — with them that shuddered o'er his grave, 

And all who from the law firm safety crave. 



in. 



The Roman Consul doomed his sons to die 

Who had betrayed their country. The stern word 

Afforded (may it through all time afford) 

A theme for praise and admiration high. 

Upon the surface of humanity 

He rested not ; its depths his mind explored ; 

He felt ; but his parental bosom's lord 

Was Duty,— -Duty calmed his agony. 



SONNETS UPON THE PUNISHMENT OP DEATH. 

And some, we know, when they by wilful act 
A single human life have wrongly taken, 
Pass sentence on themselves, confess the fact, 
And, to atone for it, with soul unshaken 
Kneel at the feet of Justice, and, for faith 
Broken with all mankind, solicit death. 



IV. 



Is Death, when evil against good has fought 
With such fell mastery that a man may dare 
By deeds the blackest purpose to lay bare ? 
Is Death, for one to that condition brought, 
For him, or any one, the thing that ought 
To be most dreaded ? Lawgivers, beware, 
Lest, capital pains remitting till ye spare 
The murderer, ye, by sanction to that thought 
Seemingly given, debase the general mind ; 
Tempt the vague will tried standards to disown, 
Nor only palpable restraints unbind, 
But upon Honour's head disturb the crown, 
"Whose absolute rule permits not to withstand 
In the weak love of life his least command. 



Not to the object specially designed, 
Howe'er momentous in itself it be, 
Grood to promote or curb depravity, 
Is the wise Legislator's view confined. 



300 SONNETS UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. 

His Spirit, when most severe, is oft most kind ; 

As all Authority in earth depends 

On Love and Fear, their several powers he blends, 

Copying with awe the one Paternal mind. 

Uncanght by processes in show humane, 

He feels how far the act would derogate 

Erom even the humblest functions of the State ; 

If she, self-shorn of Majesty, ordain 

That never more shall hang upon her breath 

The last alternative of Life or Death. 



VI, 

Ye brood of conscience — Spectres ! that frequent 
The bad Man's restless walk, and haunt his bed — 
Fiends in your aspect, yet beneficent 
In act, as hovering Angels when they spread 
Their wings to guard the unconscious Innocent — 
Slow be the Statutes of the land to share 
A laxity that could not but impair 
Your power to punish crime, and so prevent. 
And ye, Beliefs ! coiled serpent-like about 
The adage on all tongues, " Murder will out," 
How shall your ancient warnings work for good 
In the full might they hitherto have shown, 
If for deliberate shedder of man's blood 
Survive not Judgment that requires his own ? 



SONNETS UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. 301 



Til. 

Before the world had past her time of youth 

"While polity and discipline were weak, 

The precept eye for eye, and tooth for tooth, 

Came forth — a light, though but as of day-break, 

Strong as could then be borne. A Master meek 

Proscribed the spirit fostered by that rule, 

Patience his law, long-suffering his school, 

And loTe the end, which all through peace must seek. 

But lamentably do they err who strain 

His mandates, given rash impulse to controul 

And keep vindictive thirstings from the soul, 

So far that, if consistent in their scheme, 

They must forbid the State to inflict a pain, 

Making of social order a mere dream. 



VIII. 



Pit retribution, by the moral code 
Determined, lies beyond the State's embrace, 
Yet, as she may, for each peculiar case 
She plants well-measured terrors in the road 
Of wrongful acts. Downward it is and broad, 
And, the main fear once doomed to banishment, 
Par oftener then, bad ushering worse event, 
Blood would be spilt that in his dark abode 



302 SONNETS UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. 

Crime might lie better hid. And, should the change 

Take from the horror due to a foul deed, 

Pursuit and evidence so far must fail, 

And, guilt escaping, passion then might plead 

In angry spirits for her old free range, 

And the " wild justice of revenge" prevail. 



IX. 

Though to give timely warning and deter 

Is one great aim of penalty, extend 

Thy mental vision further and ascend 

Par higher, else full surely shalt thou err. 

"What is a State ? The wise behold in her 

A creature born of time, that keeps one eye 

Fixed on the statutes of Eternity, 

To which her judgments reverently defer. 

Speaking through Law's dispassionate voice the State 

Endues her conscience with external life 

And being, to preclude or quell the strife 

Of individual will, to elevate 

The grovelling mind, the erring to recal, 

And fortify the moral sense of all. 



x. 



Our bodily life, some plead, that life the shrine 
Of an immortal spirit, is a gift 
So sacred, so informed with light divine, 
That no tribunal, though most wise to sift 



SONNETS UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. 303 

Deed and intent, should turn the Eeing adrift 
Into that world where penitential tear 
May not avail, nor prayer have for God's ear 
A voice — that world whose veil no hand can lift 
For earthly sight. " Eternity and Time" 
They urge, " have interwoven claims and rights 
Not to be jeopardised through foulest crime : 
The sentence rule by mercy's heaven-born lights." 
Even so ; but measuring not by finite sense 
Infinite Power, perfect Intelligence. 



XI. 



Ah, think how one compelled for life to abide 

Locked in a dungeon needs must eat the heart 

Out of his own humanity, and part 

"With every hope that mutual cares provide ; 

And, should a less unnatural doom confide 

In life-long exile on a savage coast, 

Soon the relapsing penitent may boast 

Of yet more heinous guilt, with fiercer pride. 

Hence thoughtful Mercy, Mercy sage and pure, 

Sanctions the forfeiture that Law demands, 

Leaving the final issue in His hands 

"Whose goodness knows no change, whose love is sure. 

Who sees, foresees; who cannot judge amiss, 

And wafts at will the contrite soul to bliss. 



304 SONNETS UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. 



XII. 

See the Condemned alone within his cell 

And prostrate at some moment when remorse 

Stings to the quick, and, wdth resistless force, 

Assaults the pride she strove in vain to quell. 

Then mark him, him who could so long rebel, 

The crime confessed, a kneeling Penitent 

Before the Altar, where the Sacrament 

Softens his heart, till from his eyes outwell 

Tears of salvation. "Welcome death ! while Heaven 

Does in this change exceedingly rejoice ; 

"While yet the solemn heed the State hath given 

Helps him to meet the last Tribunal's voice 

In faith, which fresh offences, were he cast 

On old temptations, might for ever blast. 



XIII. 

CONCLUSION. 



Yes, though He well may tremble at the sound 
Of his own voice, who from the judgment-seat 
Sends the pale Convict to his last retreat 
In death; though Listeners shudder all arouDd, 
They know the dread requital's source profound ; 
Nor is, they feel, its wisdom obsolete — 
(Would that it were !) the sacrifice unmeet 
For Christian Faith. But hopeful signs abound ; 



SONNETS UPON THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. 305 

The social rights of man breathe purer air ; 
Religion deepens her preventive care ; 
Then, moved by needless fear of past abuse, 
Strike not from Law's firm hand that awful rod, 
But leave it thence to drop for lack of use : 
Oh, speed the blessed hour, Almighty God ! 



XIV. 
APOLOGY. 

The formal World relaxes her cold chain 

For One who speaks in numbers ; ampler scope 

His utterance finds ; and, conscious of the gain, 

Imagination works with bolder hope 

The cause of grateful reason to sustain ; 

And, serving Truth, the heart more strongly beats 

Against all barriers which his labour meets 

In lofty place, or humble Life's domain. 

Enough ; — before us lay a painful road, 

And guidance have I sought in duteous love 

Prom "Wisdom's heavenly Father. Hence hath flowed 

Patience, with trust that, whatsoe'er the way 

Each takes in this high matter, all may move 

Cheered with the prospect of a brighter day. 

1840. 



VOL. IV. 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

i. 

EPISTLE 

TO SIR GEORGE HOWLAND BEAUMONT, BART. 
FROM THE SOUTH-WEST COAST OP CUMBERLAND. — 1811. 

[This poem, opened when first written, with a paragraph that has 
been transferred as an introduction to the first series of my 
Scotch Memorials. The journey, of which the first part is 
here described, was from Grrasmere to Bootle on the south-west 
coast of Cumberland, the whole among mountain roads through 
a beautiful country ; and we had fine weather. The verses end 
with our breakfast at the head of Yewdale in a yeoman's house, 
which, like all the other property in that sequestered vale, has 
passed or is passing into the hands of Mr. James Marshall of 
Monk Coniston, — in Mr. Knott's, the late owner's, time called 
Waterhead. Our hostess married a Mr. Oldfield, a lieutenant 
in the Navy : they lived together for some time at Hacket, 
where she still resides as his widow. It was in front of that 
house, on the mountain side, near which stood the peasant who, 
while we were passing at a distance, saluted us, waving a 
kerchief in her hand as described in the poem. (This matron 
and her husband were then residing at the Hacket. The house 
and its inmates are referred to in the fifth book of the * ' Excur- 
sion," in the passage beginning — 

" You behold, 
High on the breast of yon dark mountain, dark 
With stony barrenness, a shining speck." — J. C.) 

The dog which we met with soon after our starting belonged to 
Mr. Eowlandson, who for forty years was curate of Gfrasmere 
in place of the rector who lived to extreme old age in a state of 
insanity. Of this Mr. R. much might be said both with 
reference to his character, and the way in which he was 
regarded by his parishioners. He was a man of a robust frame, 



EPISTLE. 307 

had a firm voice and authoritative manner, of strong natural 
talents, of which he was himself conscious, for he has been 
heard to say (it grieves me to add) with an oath — " If I had 
been brought up at college I should have been a bishop." Two 
vices used to struggle in him for mastery, avarice and the love 
of strong drink : but avarice, as is common in like cases, always 
got the better of its opponent ; for, though he was often 
intoxicated, it was never I believe at his own expense. As has 
been said of one in a more exalted station, he would take 
any given quantity. I have heard a story of him which is 
worth the telling. One summer's morning, our Grasmere 
curate, after a night's carouse in the vale of Langdale, on his 
return home, having reached a point near which the whole of 
the vale of Grasmere might be seen with the lake immediately 
below him, stepped aside and sat down on the turf. After 
looking for some time at the landscape, then in the perfection 
of its morning beauty, he exclaimed — ' ' Good God, that I 
should have led so long such a life in such a place ! " — This no 
doubt was deeply felt by him at the time, but I am not 
authorised to say that any noticeable amendment followed. 
Penuriousness strengthened upon him as his body grew feebler 
with age. He had purchased property and kept some land in 
his own hands, but he could not find in his heart to lay out the 
necessary hire for labourers at the proper season, and conse- 
quently he has often been seen in half-dotage working his hay 
in the month of November by moonlight, a melancholy sight 
which I myself have witnessed. Notwithstanding all that has 
been said, this man, on account of his talents and superior 
education, was looked up to by his parishioners, who with- 
oxit a single exception lived at that time (and most of them 
upon their own small inheritances) in a state of republican 
equality, a condition favorable to the growth of kindly feelings 
among them, and in a striking degree exclusive to temptations 
to gross vice and scandalous behaviour. As a pastor their 
curate did little or nothing for them ; but what could more 
strikingly set forth the efficacy of the Church of England through 
its Ordinances and Liturgy than that, in spite of the unworthi- 
ness of the minister, his church was regularly attended ; and, 
though there was not much appearance in his flock of what 
might be called animated piety, intoxication was rare, and 
dissolute morals unknown. With the Bible they were for the 
most part well acquainted ; and, as was strikingly shown when 
they were under affliction, must have been supported and 
comforted by habitual belief in those truths which it is the 
aim of the Church to inculcate. — Loughrigg Tarn. This 
beautiful pool and the surrounding scene are minutely de- 
scribed in my little Book on the Lakes. Sir G. H. Beaumont, 

x 2 



308 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

in the earlier part of his life, was induced, by his love of nature 
and the art of painting, to take up his abode at Old Brathay, 
about three miles from this spot, so that he must have seen it 
under many aspects ; and he was so much pleased with it that 
he purchased the Tarn with a view to build, near it, such a 
residence as is alluded to in this Epistle. Baronets and knights 
were not so common in that day as now, and Sir Michael le 
Fleming, not liking to have a rival in that kind of distinction 
so near him, claimed a sort of lordship over the territory, and 
showed dispositions little in unison with those of Sir G. Beau- 
mont, who was eminently a lover of peace. The project of 
building was in consequence given up, Sir George retaining 
possession of the Tarn. Many years afterwards a Kendal 
tradesman born upon its banks applied to me for the purchase 
of it, and accordingly it was sold for the sum that had been 
given for it, and the money was laid out under my direction 
upon a substantial oak fence for a certain number of yew trees 
to be planted in Grasmere church -yard ; two were planted in 
each enclosure, with a view to remove, after a certain time, the 
one which throve the least. After several years, the stouter 
plant being left, the others were taken up and placed in other 
parts of the same church-yard, and were adequately fenced at 
the expense and under the care of the late Mr. Barber, Mr. 
Greenwood, and myself : the whole eight are now thriving, and 
are already an ornament to a place which, during late years, 
has lost much of its rustic simplicity by the introduction of iron 
palisades to fence off family burying-grounds, and by numerous 
monuments, some of them in very bad taste ; from which this 
place of burial was in my memory quite free. See the lines in 
the sixth book of the "Excursion" beginning — " Green is the 
church-yard, beautiful and green." The "Epistle" to which 
these notes refer, though written so far back as 1804, was 
carefully revised so late as 1842, previous to its publication. 
I am loth to add, that it was never seen by the person to whom 
it is addressed. So sensible am I of the deficiencies in all 
that I write, and so far does everything that I attempt fall 
short of what I wish it to be, that even private publication, if 
such a term may be allowed, requires more resolution than I 
can command. I have written to give vent to my own mind, 
and not without hope that, some time or other, kindred minds 
might benefit by my labours : but I am inclined to believe I 
should never have ventured to send forth any verses of mine to the 
world if it had not been done on the pressure of personal 
occasions. Had I been a rich man, my productions, like this 
"Epistle," the tragedy of the "Borderers," &c, would most 
likely have been confined to manuscript.] 



EPISTLE. 309 

Far from our home by Grasmere's quiet Lake, 
From the Vale's peace which all her fields partake, 
Here on the bleakest point of Cumbria's shore 
"We sojourn stunned by Ocean's ceaseless roar ; 
While, day by day, grim neighbour ! huge Black Comb 
[Frowns deepening visibly his native gloom, 
Unless, perchance rejecting in despite 
What on the Plain we have of warmth and light, 
In his own storms he hides himself from sight. 
B,ough is the time ; and thoughts, that would be free 
From heaviness, oft fly, dear Friend, to thee ; 
Turn from a spot where neither sheltered road 
ISTor hedge-row screen invites my steps abroad ; 
Where one poor Plane-tree, having as it might 
Attained a stature twice a tall man's height, 
Hopeless of further growth, and brown and sere 
Through half the summer, stands with top cut sheer, 
Like an unshifting weathercock which proves 
How cold the quarter that the wind best loves, 
Or like a Centinel that, evermore 
Darkening the window, ill defends the door 
Of this unfinished house — a Portress bare, 
Where strength has been the Builder's only care ; 
Whose rugged walls may still for years demand 
The final polish of the Plasterer's hand. 
— This Dwelling's Inmate more than three weeks' space 
And oft a Prisoner in the cheerless place, 
I — of whose touch the fiddle would complain, 
Whose breath would labour at the flute in vain, 
In music all unversed, nor blessed with skill 
A bridge to copy, or to paint a mill, 



310 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Tired of my books, a scanty company ! 

And tired of listening to the boisterous sea — 

Pace between door and window muttering rhyme, 

An old resource to cheat a froward time ! 

Though these dull hours (mine is it, or their shame ?) 

Would tempt me to renounce that humble aim. 

— But if there be a Muse who, free to take 

Her seat upon Olympus, doth forsake 

Those heights (like Phoebus when his golden locks 

He veiled, attendant on Thessalian flocks) 

And, in disguise, a Milkmaid with her pail 

Trips down the pathways of some winding dale ; 

Or, like a Mermaid, warbles on the shores 

To fishers mending nets beside their doors ; 

Or, Pilgrim-like, on forest moss reclined, 

Gives plaintive ditties to the heedless wind, 

Or listens to its play among the boughs 

Above her head and so forgets her vows — 

If such a Visitant of Earth there be 

And she would deign this day to smile on me 

And aid my verse, content with local bounds 

Of natural beauty and life's daily rounds, 

Thoughts, chances, sights, or doings, which we tell 

"Without reserve to those whom we love well — 

Then haply, Beaumont ! words in current clear 

Will flow, and on a welcome page appear 

Duly before thy sight, unless they perish here. 

What shall I treat of? News from Mona's Isle ? 
Such have we, but unvaried in its style ; 
No tales of Eunagates fresh landed, whence 
And wherefore fugitive or on what pretence ; 
Of feasts, or scandal, eddying like the wind 
Most restlesslv alive wmen most confined. 



EPISTLE. 311 

Ask not of me, whose tongue can best appease 
The mighty tumults of the House or Keys ; 
The last year's cup whose Earn or Heifer gained, 
What slopes are planted, or what mosses drained : 
An eye of fancy only can I cast 
On that proud pageant now at hand or past, 
When full five hundred boats in trim array, 
With nets and sails outspread and streamers gay, 
And chanted hymns and stiller voice of prayer, 
For the old Manx-harvest to the Deep repair, 
Soon as the herring-shoals at distance shine 
Like beds of moonlight shifting on the brine. 

Mona from our Abode is daily seen, 
But with a wilderness of waves between ; 
And by conjecture only can we speak 
Of aught transacted there in bay or creek ; 
No tidings reach us thence from town or field, 
Only faint news her mountain sunbeams yield, 
And some we gather from the misty air, 
And some the hovering clouds, our telegraph, declare. 
But these poetic mysteries I withhold ; 
For Fancy hath her fits both hot and cold, 
And should the colder fit with You be on 
When You might read, my credit would be gone. 

Let more substantial themes the pen engage, 
And nearer interests culled from the opening stage 
Of our migration. — Ere the welcome dawn 
Had from the east her silver star withdrawn, 
The Wain stood ready, at our Cottage-door, 
Thoughtfully freighted with a various store ; 
And long or ere the uprising of the Sun 
O'er dew-damped dust our journey was begun, 



312 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

A needful journey, under favouring skies, 
Through peopled Vales ; yet something in the guise 
Of those old Patriarchs when from well to well 
They roamed through "Wastes where now the tented 
Arabs dwell. 

Say first, to whom did we the charge confide, 
Who promptly undertook the Wain to guide 
Up many a sharply-twining road and down, 
And over many a wide hill's craggy crown, 
Through the quick turns of many a hollow nook, 
And the rough bed of many an unbridged brook ? 
A blooming Lass — who in her better hand 
Bore a light switch, her sceptre of command 
When, yet a slender Girl, she often led, 
Skilful and bold, the horse and burthened sled * 
From the peat-yielding Moss on Growdar's head. 
What could go wrong with such a Charioteer 
For goods and chattels, or those Infants dear, 
A Pair who smilingly sate side by side, 
Our hope confirming that the salt-sea tide 
Whose free embraces we were bound to seek, 
Would their lost strength restore and freshen the pale 

cheek ? 
Such hope did either Parent entertain 
Pacing behind along the silent lane. 

Blithe hopes and happy musings soon took flight, 
For lo ! an uncouth melancholy sight- 
On a green bank a creature stood forlorn 
Just half protruded to the light of morn, 
Its hinder part concealed by hedge-row thorn. 
The Figure called to mind a beast of prey 
Stript of its frightful powers by slow decay, 

* A local word for Sledge. 



EPISTLE. 313 

And, though no longer upon rapine bent, 
Dim memory keeping of its old intent. 
"We started, looked again with anxious eyes, 
And in that griesly object recognise 
The Curate's Dog — his long-tried friend, for they, 
As well we knew, together had grown grey. 
The Master died, his drooping servant's grief 
Found at the Widow's feet some sad relief; 
Tet still he lived in pining discontent, 
Sadness which no indulgence could prevent ; 
Hence whole day wanderings, broken nightly sleeps 
And lonesome watch that out of doors he keeps ; 
Not oftentimes, I trust, as we, poor brute ! 
Espied him on his legs sustained, blank, mute, 
And of all visible motion destitute, 
So that the very heaving of his breath 
Seemed stopt, though by some other power than death. 
Long as we gazed upon the form and face, 
A mild domestic pity kept its place, 
TJnscared by thronging fancies of strange hue 
That haunted us in spite of what we knew. 
Even now I sometimes think of him as lost 
In second-sight appearances, or crost 
By spectral shapes of guilt, or to the ground, 
On which he stood, by spells unnatural bound, 
Like a gaunt shaggy Porter forced to wait 
In days of old romance at Archimago's gate. 
Advancing Summer, Nature's law fulfilled, 
The choristers in every grove had stilled ; 
But we, we lacked not music of our own, 
Eor lightsome Eanny had thus early thrown, 
Mid the gay prattle of those infant tongues, 
Some notes prelusive, from the round of songs 



314 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

With which, more zealous than the liveliest bird 
That in wild Arden's brakes was ever heard, 
Her work and her work's partners she can cheer, 
The whole day long, and all days of the year. 

Thus gladdened from our own dear Vale we pass 
And soon approach Diana's Looking-glass ! 
To Loughrigg-tarn, round clear and bright as heaven, 
Such name Italian fancy would have given, 
Ere on its banks the few grey cabins rose 
That yet disturb not its concealed repose 
More than the feeblest wind that idly blows. 

Ah, Beaumont ! when an opening in the road 
Stopped me at once by charm of what it showed, 
The encircling region vividly exprest 
Within the mirror's depth, a world at rest — 
Sky streaked with purple, grove and craggy Held*, 
And the smooth green of many a pendent field, 
And, quieted and soothed, a torrent small, 
A little daring would-be waterfall, 
One chimney smoking and its azure wreath, 
Associate all in the calm Pool beneath, 
With here and there a faint imperfect gleam 
Of water-lilies veiled in misty steam — 
What wonder at this hour of stillness deep, 
A shadowy link 'tween wakefulness and sleep, 
When Nature's self, amid such blending, seems 
To render visible her own soft dreams, 
If, mixed with what appeared of rock, lawn, wood, 
Eondly embosomed in the tranquil flood, 
A glimpse I caught of that Abode, by Thee 
Designed to rise in humble privacy, 

* A word common in the country, signifying shelter, as in Scotland. 



EPISTLE. 315 

A lowly Dwelling, here to be outspread, 

Like a small Hamlet, with its bashful head 

Half hid in native trees. Alas 'tis not, 

Nor ever was ; I sighed, and left the spot 

Unconscious of its own untoward lot, 

And thought in silence, with regret too keen, 

Of unexperienced joys that might have been ; 

Of neighbourhood and intermingling arts, 

And golden summer days uniting cheerful hearts. 

But time, irrevocable time, is flown, 

And let us utter thanks for blessings sown 

And reaped — what hath been, and what is, our own. 

Not far we travelled ere a shout of glee, 
Startling us all, dispersed my reverie ; 
Such shout as many a sportive echo meeting 
Oft-times from Alpine chalets sends a greeting. 
Whence the blithe hail ? behold a Peasant stand 
On high, a kerchief waving in her hand ! 
Not unexpectant that by early day 
Our little Band would thrid this mountain way, 
Before her cottage on the bright hill side 
She hath advanced with hope to be descried. 
Sight gladly answering signals w T e displayed, 
Moving along a tract of morning shade, 
And vocal wishes sent of like good will 
To our kind Friend high on the sunny hill- 
Luminous region, fair as if the prime 
"Were tempting all astir to look aloft or climb ; 
Only the centre of the shining cot 
"With door left open makes a gloomy spot, 
Emblem of those dark corners sometimes found 
"Within the happiest breast on earthly ground. 



316 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Bich prospect left behind of stream and vale, 
And mountain-tops, a barren ridge we scale ; 
Descend, and reach, in Tewdale's depths, a plain 
With haycocks studded, striped with yellowing grain — 
An area level as a Lake and spread 
Under a rock too steep for man to tread, 
"Where sheltered from the north and bleak northwest 
Aloft the Eaven hangs a visible nest, 
[Fearless of all assaults that ivould her brood molest. 
Hot sunbeams fill the steaming vale ; but hark, 
At our approach, a jealous watch-dog's bark, 
Noise that brings forth no liveried Page of state, 
But the whole household, that our coming wait. 
With Young and Old warm greetings we exchange, 
And jocund smiles, and toward the lowly Grange 
Press forward by the teasing dogs unscared. 
Entering, we find the morning meal prepared : 
So down we sit, though not till each had cast 
Pleased looks around the delicate repast — 
Bich cream, and snow-white eggs fresh from the nest, 
With amber honey from the mountain's breast ; 
Strawberries from lane or woodland, offering wild 
Of children's industry, in hillocks piled ; 
Cakes for the nonce, and butter fit to lie 
Upon a lordly dish ; frank hospitality 
Where simple art with bounteous nature vied, 
And cottage comfort shunned not seemly pride. 

Kind Hostess ! Handmaid also of the feast, 
If thou be lovelier than the kindling East, 
Words by thy presence unrestrained may speak 
Of a perpetual dawn from brow and cheek 
Instinct with light whose sweetest promise lies, 
Never retiring, in thy large dark eyes, 



EPISTLE. 31 7 

Dark but to every gentle feeling true, 

As if their lustre flowed from ether's purest blue. 

Let me not ask what tears may have been wept 
By those bright eyes, what weary vigils kept, 
Beside that hearth what sighs may have been heaved 
For wounds inflicted, nor what toil relieved 
By fortitude and patience, and the grace 
Of heaven in pity visiting the place. 
Not unadvisedly those secret springs 
I leave unsearched : enough that memory clings, 
Here as elsewhere, to notices that make 
Their own significance for hearts awake, 
To rural incidents, whose genial powers 
Pilled with delight three summer morning hours. 

More could my pen report of grave or gay 
That through our gipsy travel cheered the way ; 
But, bursting forth above the waves, the Sun 
Laughs at my pains, and seems to say, " Be done." 
Yet, Beaumont, thou wilt not, I trust, reprove 
This humble offering made by Truth to Love, 
]N"or chide the Muse that stooped to break a spell 
Which might have else been on me yet : — 

Farewell. 



UPON PERUSING THE FOREGOING EPISTLE THIRTY YEARS 
AFTER ITS COMPOSITION. 

Soon did the Almighty Giver of all rest 
Take those dear young Ones to a fearless nest ; 
And in Death's arms has long reposed the Friend 
For whom this simple Eegister was penned. 
Thanks to the moth that spared it for our eyes ; 



318 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

And Strangers even the slighted Scroll may prize, 

Moved by the touch of kindred sympathies. 

For— save the calm, repentance sheds o'er strife 

Raised by remembrances of misused life, 

The light from past endeavours purely willed 

And by Heaven's favour happily fulfilled; 

Save hope that we, yet bound to Earth, may share 

The joys of the Departed — what so fair 

As blameless pleasure, not without some tears, 

Reviewed through Love's transparent veil of years ? 

Note. — Loughrigg Tarn, alluded to in the foregoing Epistle, resembles, 
though much smaller in compass, the Lake Nemi, or Speculum Diance as it 
is often called, not only in its clear waters and circular form, and the 
beauty immediately surrounding it, but also as being overlooked by the 
eminence of Langdale Pikes as Lake Nemi is by that of Monte Calvo. 
Since this Epistle was written Loughrigg Tarn has lost much of its beauty 
by the felling of many natural clumps of wood, relics of the old forest, 
particularly upon the farm called "The Oaks," so called from the abund- 
ance of that tree which grew there. 

It is to be regretted, upon public grounds, that Sir George Beaumont 
did not carry into effect his intention of constructing here a Summer 
Retreat in the style I have described; as his taste would have set an 
example how buildings, with all the accommodations modern society 
requires, might be introduced even into the most secluded parts of this 
country without injuring their native character. 



II. 

GOLD AKD SILVER FISHES IN A YASE. 

[They were a present from Miss Jewsbury, of whom mention is 
made in the note at the end of the next poem. The fish were 
healthy to all appearance in their confinement for a long time, 
but at last, for some cause we could not make out, they 
languished, and, one of them being all but dead, they were 
taken to the pool under the old Pollard-oak. The apparently 
dying one lay on its side unable to move. I used to watch it, 
and about the tenth day it began to right itself, and in a few 
days more was able to swim about with its companions. For 



GOLD AND SILVER FISHES IN A VASE. 319 

many months they continued to prosper in their new place of 
abode ; but one night by an unusually great flood they were 
swept out of the pool, and perished to our great regret.] 

The soaring lark is blest as proud 

When at heaven's gate she sings ; 
The roving bee proclaims aloud 

Her flight by vocal wings ; 
"While Ye, in lasting durance pent, 

Tour silent lives employ 
For something more than dull content, 

Though haply less than joy. 

Tet might your glassy prison seem 

A place where joy is known, 
Where golden flash and silver gleam 

Have meanings of their own ; 
While, high and low, and all about, 

Tour motions, glittering Elves ! 
Te weave — no danger from without, 

And peace among yourselves. 

Type of a sunny human breast 

Is your transparent cell ; 
Where Fear is but a transient guest, 

No sullen Humours dwell ; 
Where, sensitive of every ray 

That smites this tiny sea, 
Tour scaly panoplies repay 

The loan with usury. 

How beautiful ! — Tet none knows why 

This ever-graceful change, 
Renewed — renewed incessant^ — 

Within your quiet range. 



320 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Is it that ye with conscious skill 

For mutual pleasure glide ; 
And sometimes, not without your will, 

Are dwarfed, or magnified ? 

Pays, Genii of gigantic size ! 

And now, in twilight dim, 
Clustering like constellated eyes, 

In wings of Cherubim, 
When the fierce orbs abate their glare ;— 

"Whate'er your forms express, 
Whate'er ye seem, whate'er ye are — 

All leads to gentleness. 

Cold though your nature be, 'tis pure ; 

Tour birthright is a fence 
From all that haughtier kinds endure 

Through tyranny of sense. 
Ah ! not alone by colours bright 

Are Ye to heaven allied, 
"When, like essential Forms of light, 

Ye mingle, or divide. 

For day-dreams soft as e'er beguiled 

Day-thoughts while limbs repose ; 
For moonlight fascinations mild, 

Your gift, ere shutters close — 
Accept, mute Captives ! thanks and praise ; 

And may this tribute prove 
That gentle admirations raise 

Delight resembling love. 

1829. 



321 



III. 

LIBERTY. 

(sequel to the above.) 



[addressed to a friend ; THE gold and silver fishes having 
been removed to a pool in the pleasure-ground of 
rydal mount.] 

' The liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which 
they have made for themselves, under whatever form it be of 
government. The liberty of a private man, in being master of 
his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws 
of God and of his country. Of this latter we are here to 
discourse. ' — Cowlej. 

Those breathing Tokens of your kind regard, 
(Suspect not, Anna, that their fate is hard ; 
Not soon does aught to which mild fancies cling 
In lonely spots, become a slighted thing ;) 
Those silent Inmates now no longer share, 
Nor do they need, our hospitable care, 
Removed in kindness from their glassy Cell 
To the fresh waters of a living "Well — < 
An elfin pool so sheltered that its rest 
No winds disturb ; the mirror of whose breast 
Is smooth as clear, save where with dimples small 
A fly may settle, or a blossom fall. 
— There swims, of blazing sun and beating shower 
Fearless (but how obscured !) the golden Power, 
That from his bauble prison used to cast 
Gleams by the richest jewel unsurpast 5 
And near him, darkling like a sullen Grnome, 
The silver Tenant of the crystal dome ; 



322 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Dissevered both from all the mysteries 

Of hue and altering shape that charmed all eyes. 

Alas ! they pined, they languished while they shone ; 

And, if not so, what matters beauty gone 

And admiration lost, by change of place 

That brings to the inward creature no disgrace ? 

But if the change restore his birthright, then, 

Whate'er the difference, boundless is the gain. 

"Who can divine what impulses from God 

Reach the caged lark, within a town-abode, 

Prom his poor inch or two of daisied sod ? 

O yield him back his privilege ! — -No sea 

Swells like the bosom of a man set free ; 

A wilderness is rich with liberty. 

Eoll on, ye spouting whales, who die or keep 

Tour independence in the fathomless Deep ! 

Spread, tiny nautilus, the living sail ; 

Dive, at thy choice, or brave the freshening gale ! 

If unreproved the ambitious eagle mount 

Sunward to seek the daylight in its fount, 

Bays, gulfs, and ocean's Indian width, shall be, 

Till the world perishes, a field for thee ! 

While musing here I sit in shadow cool, 
And watch these mute Companions, in the pool, 
(Among reflected boughs of leafy trees) 
By glimpses caught — disporting at their ease, 
Enlivened, braced, by hardy luxuries, 
I ask what warrant fixed them (like a spell 
Of witchcraft fixed them) in the crystal cell ; 
To wheel with languid motion round and round, 
Beautiful, yet in mournful durance bound. 
Their peace, perhaps, our lightest footfall marred ; 
On their quick sense our sweetest music jarred ; 



LIBERTY. 323 

And whither could they dart, if seized with fear ? 
No sheltering stone, no tangled root was near. 
"When fire or taper ceased to cheer the room, 
They wore away the night in starless gloom ; 
And, when the sun first dawned upon the streams, 
How faint their portion of his vital beams ! 
Thus, and unable to complain, they fared, 
"While not one joy of ours by them was shared. 

Is there a cherished bird (I venture now 
To snatch a sprig from Chaucer's reverend brow) — 
Is there a brilliant fondling of the cage, 
Though sure of plaudits on his costly stage, 
Though fed with dainties from the snow-white hand 
Of a kind mistress, fairest of the land, 
But gladly would escape ; and, if need were, 
Scatter the colours from the plumes that bear 
The emancipated captive through blithe air 
Into strange woods, where he at large may live 
On best or worst which they and Nature give ? 
The beetle loves his unpretending track, 
The snail the house he carries on his back ; 
The far-fetched worm with pleasure would disown 
The bed we give him, though of softest down ; 
A noble instinct ; in all kinds the same, 
All ranks ! What Sovereign, worthy of the name, 
If doomed to breathe against his lawful will 
An element that flatters him — to kill, 
But would rejoice to barter outward show 
For the least boon that freedom can bestow ? 

But most the Bard is true to inborn right, 
Lark of the dawn, and Philomel of night, 
Exults in freedom, can with rapture vouch 
For the dear blessings of a lowly couch, 



324 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

A natural meal — days, months, from Nature's hand ; 

Time, place, and business, all at his command ! — 

"Who bends to happier duties, who more wise 

Than the industrious Poet, taught to prize, 

Above all grandeur, a pure life uncrossed 

By cares in which simplicity is lost ? 

That life — the flowery path that winds by stealth — 

"Which Horace needed for his spirit's health ; 

Sighed for, in heart and genius, overcome 

By noise and strife, and questions wearisome, 

And the vain splendours of Imperial Borne ? — 

Let easy mirth his social hours inspire, 

And fiction animate his sportive lyre, 

Attuned to verse that, crowning light Distress 

With garlands, cheats her into happiness ; 

Give me the humblest note of those sad strains 

Drawn forth by pressure of his gilded chains, 

As a chance-sunbeam from his memory fell 

Upon the Sabine farm he loved so well ; 

Or when the prattle of Blandusia's spring 

Haunted his ear — he only listening — 

He, proud to please, above all rivals, fit 

To win the palm of gaiety and wit ; 

He, doubt not, with involuntary dread, 

Shrinking from each new favour to be shed, 

By the world's Ruler, on his honoured head ! 

In a deep vision's intellectual scene, 
Such earnest longings and regrets as keen 
Depressed the melancholy Cowley, laid 
Under a fancied yew-tree's luckless shade ; 
A doleful bower for penitential song, 
Where Man and Muse complained of mutual wrong ; 



LIBERTY. 325 

While Cam's ideal current glided by, 

And antique towers nodded their foreheads high, 

Citadels dear to studious privacy. 

But Fortune, who had long been used to sport 

With this tried Servant of a thankless Court, 

Relenting met his wishes ; and to you 

The remnant of his days at least was true ; 

You, whom, though long deserted, he loved best ; 

You, Muses, books, fields, liberty, and rest ! 

Far happier they who, fixing hope and aim 
On the humanities of peaceful fame, 
Enter betimes with more than martial fire 
The generous course, aspire, and still aspire ; 
Upheld by warnings heeded not too late 
Stifle the contradictions of their fate, 
And to one purpose cleave, their Being's godlike mate ! 

Thus, gifted Friend, but with the placid brow 
That woman ne'er should forfeit, keep thy vow ; 
With modest scorn reject whate'er would blind 
The ethereal eyesight, cramp the winged mind ! 
Then, with a blessing granted from above 
To every act, word, thought, and look of love, 
Life's book for Thee may lie unclosed, till age 
Shall with a thankful tear bedrop its latest page*. 

1829. 



* There is now, alas ! no possibility of the anticipation, with which the 
above Epistle concludes, being realised : nor were the verses ever seen by 
the Individual for whom they were intended. She accompanied her hus- 
band, the Kev. Wm. Fletcher, to India, and died of cholera, at the age of 
thirty-two or thirty-three years, on her way from Shalapore to Bombay, 
deeply lamented by all who knew her. 

Her enthusiasm, was ardent, her piety steadfast ; and her great talents 
would have enabled her to be eminently useful in the difficult path of life 
to which she had been called. The opinion she entertained of her own 
performances, given to the world under her maiden name, Jewsbury, was 
modest and humble, and, indeed, far below their merits ; as is often the 



326 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



IY. 

POOR ROBIK* 

[I often ask myself what will become of Rydal Mount after our 
day. Will the old walls and steps remain in front of the house 
and about the grounds, or will they be swept away with all 
the beautiful mosses and ferns and wild geraniums and other 
flowers which their rude construction suifered and encouraged 
to grow among them ? — This little wild flower— " Poor Robin" 
— is here constantly courting my attention, and exciting what 
may be called a domestic interest with the varying aspects of 
its stalks and leaves and flowers. Strangely do the tastes of 
men differ according to their employment and habits of life. 
1 ' What a nice well would that be," said a labouring man to 
me one day, "if all that rubbish was cleared off." The 
"rubbish" was some of the most beautiful mosses and lichens 
and ferns and other wild growths that could possibly be seen. 
Defend us from the tyranny of trimness and neatness showing 
itself in this way ! Chatterton says of freedom — "Upon her 
head wild weeds were spread" and depend upon it if " the 
marvellous boy" had undertaken to give Flora a garland, he 
would have preferred what we are apt to call weeds to garden - 
flowers. True taste has an eye for both. Weeds have been 
called flowers out of place. I fear the place most people would 
assign to them is too limited. Let them come near to our 
abodes, as surely they may without impropriety or disorder.] 

Now when the primrose makes a splendid show, 
And lilies face the March-winds in full blow, 
And humbler growths as moved with one desire 
Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire, 
Poor Robin is yet flowerless ; but how gay 
With his red stalks upon this sunny day ! 

case with those who are making trial of their powers, with a hope to dis- 
cover what they are best fitted for. In one quality, viz., quickness in the 
motions of her mind, she had, within the range of the Author's acquaint- 
ance, no equal. 
* The small wild Geranium known by that name. 



FOOR KOBIN. 327 

And, as his tufts of leaves he spreads, content 

With a hard bed and scanty nourishment, 

Mixed with the green, some shine not lacking power 

To rival summer's brightest scarlet flower ; 

And flowers they well might seem to passers-by 

If looked at only with a careless eye ; 

Mowers — or a richer produce (did it suit 

The season) sprinklings of ripe strawberry fruit. 

Eut while a thousand pleasures come unsought, 

Why fix upon his wealth or want a thought ? 

Is the string touched in prelude to a lay 

Of pretty fancies that would round him play 

When all the world acknowledged elfin sway ? 

Or does it suit our humour to commend 

Poor E/obin as a sure and crafty friend, 

Whose practice teaches, spite of names to show 

Bright colours whether they deceive or no ? — 

JN"ay, we would simply praise the free good-will 

With which, though slighted, he, on naked hill 

Or in warm valley, seeks his part to fill ; 

Cheerful alike if bare of flowers as now, 

Or when his tiny gems shall deck his brow : 

Yet more, we wish that men by men despised, 

And such as lift their foreheads overprized, 

Should sometimes think, where'er they chance to spy 

This child of Nature's own humility, 

What recompense is kept in store or left 

For all that seem neglected or bereft ; 

With what nice care equivalents are given, 

How just, how bountiful, the hand of Heaven. 

March, 1840. 



328 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



THE GLEANER. 

SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE. 

[This poem was first printed in the Annual called the u Keepsake." 
The painter's name I am not sure of, but I think it was Holmes.] 

That happy gleam of vernal eyes, 
Those locks from summer's golden skies, 

That o'er thy brow are shed ; 
That cheek — a kindling of the morn, 
That lip — a rose-bud from the thorn, 

I saw ; and Fancy sped 
To scenes Arcadian, whispering, through soft air, 
Of bliss that grows without a care, 
And happiness that never flies — 
(How can it where love never dies ?) 
"Whispering of promise, where no blight 
Can reach the innocent delight ; 
Where pity, to the mind conveyed 
In pleasure, is the darkest shade 
That Time, unwrinkled grandsire, flings 
From his smoothly gliding wings. 

"What mortal form, what earthly face 
Inspired the pencil, lines to trace, 
And mingle colours, that should breed 
Such rapture, nor want power to feed ; 
For had thy charge been idle flowers ? 
Fair Damsel ! o'er my captive mind, 
To truth and sober reason blind, 



TO A REDBREAST. 329 

'Mid that soft air, those long-lost bowers, 
The sweet illusion might have hung, for hours. 

Thanks to this tell-tale sheaf of corn, 
That touchingly bespeaks thee born 
Life's daily tasks with them to share 
Who, whether from their lowly bed 
They rise, or rest the weary head, 
Ponder the blessing they entreat 
Prom Heaven, and feel what they repeat, 
"While they give utterance to the prayer 
That asks for daily bread. 

1828. 



VI. 

TO A REDBREAST— (IX SICKNESS.) 
[Almost the only verses by our lamented Sister Sara Hutchinson.] 

Stat, little cheerful Robin ! stay, 

And at my casement sing, 
Though it should prove a farewell lay 

And this our parting spring. 

Though I, alas ! may ne'er enjoy 

The promise in thy song ; 
A charm, that thought can not destroy. 

Doth to thy strain belong. 

Methinks that in my dying hour 

Thy song would still be dear, 
And with a more than earthly power 

My passing Spirit cheer. 



330 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Then, little Bird, this boon confer, 
Come, and mj requiem sing, 

Nor fail to be the harbinger 
Of everlasting Spring. 



S. H. 



YII. 

I kxow an aged Man constrained to dwell 
In a large house of public charity, 
"Where he abides, as in a Prisoner's cell, 
With numbers near, alas ! no company. 

When he could creep about, at will, though poor 
And forced to live on alms, this old Man fed 
A Eedbreast, one that to his cottage door 
Came not, but in a lane partook his bread. 

There, at the root of one particular tree, 
An easy seat this worn-out Labourer found 
While Robin pecked the crumbs upon his knee 
Laid one by one, or scattered on the ground. 

Dear intercourse was theirs, day after day ; 
What signs of mutual gladness when they met ! 
Think of their common peace, their simple play, 
The parting moment and its fond regret. 

Months passed in love that failed not to fulfil, 
In spite of season's change, its own demand, 
By fluttering pinions here and busy bill ; 
There by caresses from a tremulous hand. 



SONNET. 331 

Thus in the chosen spot a tie so strong 

"Was formed between the solitary pair, 

That when his fate had housed him mid a throng 

The Captive shunned all converse proffered there. 

"Wife, children, kindred, they were dead and gone ; 
But, if no evil hap his wishes crossed, 
One living Stay was left, and on that one 
Some recompense for all that he had lost. 

O that the good old Man had power to prove, 
Ey message sent through air or visible token, 
That still he loves the Eird, and still must love ; 
That friendship lasts though fellowship is broken ! 

1846. 



VIII. 

SONNET. 
(to an octogenarian.) 



Affections lose their object ; Time brings forth 
No successors ; and, lodged in memory, 
If love exist no longer, it must die, — 
"Wanting accustomed food, must pass from earth, 
Or never hope to reach a second birth. 
This sad belief, the happiest that is left 
To thousands, share not Thou ; howe'er bereft, 
Scorned, or neglected, fear not such a dearth. 
Though poor and destitute of friends thou art, 
Perhaps the sole survivor of thy race, 



332 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

One to whom Heaven assigns that mournful part 
The utmost solitude of age to face, 
Still shall be left some corner of the heart 
Where Love for living Thing can find a place. 

1846. 



IX. 

FLOATING ISLAND. 



[My poor sister takes a pleasure in repeating these verses, which she 
composed not long before the beginning of her sad illoess.] 

These lines are by the Author of the Address to the Wind, &c. 
published heretofore along with my Poems. The above to a 
Redbreast are by a deceased female Relative. 

Harmonious Powers with Nature work 
On sky, earth, river, lake and sea ; 
Sunshine and cloud, whirlwind and breeze, 
All in one duteous task agree. 

Once did I see a slip of earth 

(By throbbing waves long undermined) 

Loosed from its hold ; how, no one knew, 

But all might see it float, obedient to the wind ; 

Might see it, from the mossy shore 

Dissevered, float upon the Lake, 

Float with its crest of trees adorned 

On which the warbling birds their pastime take. 

Pood, shelter, safety, there they find ; 
There berries ripen, flowerets bloom ; 
There insects live their lives, and die ; 
A peopled world it is ; in size a tiny room. 



HOW BEAUTIFUL THE QUEEN" OF NIGHT. 333 

And thus through many seasons' space 
This little Island may survive ; 
But Nature, though we mark her not, 
"Will take away, may cease to give. 

Perchance when you are wandering forth 

Upon some vacant sunny day, 

Without an object, hope, or fear, 

Thither your eyes may turn — the Isle is passed away; 

Buried beneath the glittering Lake, 
Its place no longer to be found ; 
Yet the lost fragments shall remain 
To fertilize some other ground. 

D. W. 



x. 

How beautiful the Queen of Night, on high 

Her way pursuing among scattered clouds, 

Where, ever and anon, her head she shrouds 

Hidden from view in dense obscurity. 

But look, and to the watchful eye 

A brightening edge will indicate that soon 

We shall behold the struggling Moon 

Break forth, — again to walk the clear blue sky. 



334 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



XI. 



[ "No faculty yet given me to espy 

The dusky Shape within her arms imbound." 

Afterwards, when I could not avoid seeing it, I wondered at 
this, and the more so because, like most children, I had been 
in the habit of watching the moon through all her changes, 
and had often continued to gaze at it when at the full, till half 
blinded.] 

* Late, late yestreen I saw the new moone 
Wi' the auld moone in hir arme.' 

Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence, Percy's Reliques. 

Once I could hail (howe'er serene the sky) 

The Moon re-entering her monthly round, 

No faculty yet given me to espy 

The dusky Shape within her arms imbound, 

That thin memento of effulgence lost 

"Which some have named her Predecessor's ghost. 

Young, like the Crescent that above me shone, 
Nought I perceived within it dull or dim ; 
All that appeared was suitable to One 
"Whose fancy had a thousand fields to skim ; 
To expectations spreading with wild growth, 
And hope that kept with me her plighted troth. 

I saw (ambition quickening at the view) 
A silver boat launched on a boundless flood ; 
A pearly crest, like Dian's when it threw 
Its brightest splendour round a leafy wood ; 
But not a hint from under-ground, no sign 
Pit for the glimmering brow of Proserpine. 



STANZAS. 335 

Or was it Dian's self that seemed to move 
Before me ? — nothing blemished the fair sight ; 
On her I looked whom jocund Fairies love, 
Cynthia, who puts the little stars to flight, 
And by that thinning magnifies the great, 
For exaltation of her sovereign state. 

And when I learned to mark the spectral Shape 
As each new Moon obeyed the call of Time, 
If gloom fell on me, swift was my escape ; 
Such happy privilege hath life's gay Prime, 
To see or not to see, as best may please 
A buoyant Spirit, and a heart at ease. 

Now, dazzling Stranger! when thou, meet'st my 

glance, 
Thy dark Associate ever I discern ; 
Emblem of thoughts too eager to advance 
While I salute my joys, thoughts sad or stern; 
Shades of past bliss, or phantoms that, to gain 
Their fill of promised lustre, wait in vain. 

So changes mortal Life with fleeting years ; 
A mournful change, should Reason fail to bring 
The timely insight that can temper fears, 
And from vicissitude remove its sting ; 
"While Faith aspires to seats in that domain 
Where joys are perfect — neither wax nor wane. 

1826. 



336 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



XII, 

TO THE LADY FLEMING, 

ON SEEING THE FOUNDATION PREPARING FOR THE ERECTION OF 
RYDAL CHAPEL, WESTMORELAND. 

[After thanking Lady Fleming in prose for the service she had done 
to her neighbourhood by erecting this Chapel, I have nothing 
to say beyond the expression of regret that the architect did 
not furnish an elevation better suited to the site in a narrow 
mountain-pass, and, what is of more consequence, better con- 
structed in the interior for the purposes of worship. It has no 
chancel ; the altar is unbecomingly confined ; the pews are so 
narrow as to preclude the possibility of kneeling with comfort ; 
there is no vestry ; and what ought to have been first men- 
tioned, the font, instead of standing at its proper place at the 
entrance, is thrust into the farther end of a pew. When these 
defects shall be pointed out to the munificent Patroness, they 
will, it is hoped, be corrected.] 

i. 
Blest is this Isle — our native Land ; 
Where battlement and moated gate 
Are objects only for the hand 
Of hoary Time to decorate ; 
Where shady hamlet, town that breathes 
Its busy smoke in social wreaths, 
]NTo rampart's stern defence require, 
Nought but the heaven-directed spire, 
And steeple tower (with pealing bells 
Far-heard) — our only citadels, 

ii. 
Lady ! from a noble line 
Of chieftains sprung, who stoutly bore 
The spear, yet gave to works divine 
A bounteous help in days of yore, 



TO THE LADY FLEMING. 337 

(As records mouldering in the Dell 
Of Nightshade * haply yet may tell ;) 
Thee kindred aspirations moved 
To build, within a vale beloved, 
For Him upon whose high behests 
All peace depends, all safety rests. 



How fondly will the woods embrace 
This daughter of thy pious care, 
Lifting her front with modest grace 
To make a fair recess more fair ; 
And to exalt the passing hour ; 
Or soothe it with a healing power 
Drawn from the Sacrifice fulfilled, 
Before this rugged soil was tilled, 
Or human habitation rose 
To interrupt the deep repose ! 



Well may the villagers rejoice ! 
Nor heat, nor cold, nor weary ways, 
Will be a hindrance to the voice 
That would unite in prayer and praise ; 
More duly shall wild wandering Youth 
Receive the curb of sacred truth, 
Shall tottering Age, bent earthward, hear 
The Promise, with uplifted ear ; 
And all shall welcome the new ray 
Imparted to their sabbath-day. 

* Bekangs Ghyll— or the dell of Nightshade— in which stands St. Mary's 
Abbey in Low Furness. 



338 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

V. 

Nor deem the Poet's hope misplaced, 
His fancy cheated — that can see 
A shade upon the future cast, 
Of time's pathetic sanctity ; 
Can hear the monitory clock 
Sound o'er the lake with gentle shock 
At evening, when the ground beneath 
Is ruffled o'er with cells of death ; 
Where happy generations lie, 
Here tutored for eternity. 

VI. 

Lives there a man whose sole delights 
Are trivial pomp and city noise, 
Hardening a heart that loathes or slights 
"What every natural heart enjoys ? 
Who never caught a noon-tide dream 
Prom murmur of a running stream ; 
Could strip, for aught the prospect yields 
To him, their verdure from the fields ; 
And take the radiance from the clouds 
In which the sun his setting shrouds. 

VII. 

A soul so pitiably forlorn, 
If such do on this earth abide, 
May season apathy with scorn, 
May turn indifference to pride ; 
And still be not unblest — compared 
With him who grovels, self- debarred 
From all that lies within the scope 
Of holy faith and christian hope ; 
Or, shipwrecked, kindles on the coast 
False fires, that others may be lost. 



TO THE LADY FLEMING. 339 

VIII. 

Alas ! that such perverted zeal 

Should spread on Britain's favoured ground ! 

That public order, private weal, 

Should e'er have felt or feared a wound 

From champions of the desperate law 

"Which from their own blind hearts they draw ; 

"Who tempt their reason to deny 

God, whom their passions dare defy, 

And boast that they alone are free 

Who reach this dire extremity ! 

IX. 

But turn we from these ' bold bad ' men ; 
The way, mild Lady ! that hath led 
Down to their ' dark opprobrious den/ 
Is all too rough for Thee to tread. 
Softly as morning vapours glide 
Down Eydal-cove from Fairfield's side, 
Should move the tenor of his song 
Who means to charity no wrong ; 
Whose offering gladly would accord 
With this day's work, in thought and word. 

x. 
Heaven prosper it ! may peace, and love, 
And hope, and consolation, fall, 
Through its meek influence, from above, 
And penetrate the hearts of all ; 
All who, around the hallowed Fane, 
Shall sojourn in this fair domain ; 
Grateful to Thee, while service pure, 
And ancient ordinance, shall endure, 
For opportunity bestowed 

To kneel together, and adore their God ! 

z 2 1823. 



340 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



XIII. 
ON THE SAME OCCASION. 



Oh ! gather whencesoe'er ye safely may 
The help which slackening Piety requires; 
Nor deem that he perforce must go astray 
Who treads upon the footmarks of his sires. 



Our churches, invariably perhaps, stand east and west, but why is 
by few persons exactly known ; nor, that the degree of deviation 
from due east often noticeable in the ancient ones was determined, 
in each particular case, by the point in the horizon, at which 
the sun rose upon the day of the saint to whom the church was 
dedicated. These observances of our ancestors, and the causes 
of them, are the subject of the following stanzas. 

When in the antique age of bow and spear 
And feudal rapine clothed with iron mail, 
Came ministers of peace, intent to rear 
The Mother Church in yon sequestered vale ; 

Then, to her Patron Saint a previous rite 
Resounded with deep swell and solemn close, 
Through unremitting vigils of the night, 
Till from his couch the wished-for Sun uprose. 

He rose, and straight — as by divine command, 
They, who had waited for that sign to trace 
Their work's foundation, gave with careful hand 
To the high altar its determined place ; 

Mindful of Him who in the Orient born 
There lived, and on the cross his life resigned, 
And who, from out the regions of the morn, 
Issuing in pomp, shall come to judge mankind. 



THE HORN OF EGREMONT CASTLE. 341 

So taught their creed ; — nor failed the eastern sky, 
'Mid these more awful feelings, to infuse 
The sweet and natural hopes that shall not die, 
Long as the sun his gladsome course renews. 

For us hath such prelusive vigil ceased ; 

Yet still we plant, like men of elder days 

Our christian altar faithful to the east, 

Whence the tall window drinks the morning rays ; 

That obvious emblem giving to the eye 
Of meek devotion, which erewhile it gave, 
That symbol of the day-spring from on high, 
Triumphant o'er the darkness of the grave. 

1823. 



XIV. 

THE HORN OF EGREMONT CASTLE. 

[A tradition transferred from the ancient mansion of Hutton John, 
the seat of the Hudlestons, to Egremont Castle.] 

Ere the Brothers through the gateway 
Issued forth with old and young, 
To the Horn Sir Eustace pointed 
Which for ages there had hung. 
Horn it was which none could sound, 
No one upon living ground, 
Save He who came as rightful Heir 
To Egremont's Domains and Castle fair. 



342 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Heirs from times of earliest record 

Had the House of Lucie born, 

"Who of right had held the Lordship 

Claimed by proof upon the Horn : 

Each at the appointed hour 

Tried the Horn, — it owned his power ; 

He was acknowledged : and the blast, 

"Which good Sir Eustace sounded, was the last. 

With his lance Sir Eustace pointed, 

And to Hubert thus said he, 

" What I speak this Horn shall witness 

Eor thy better memory. 

Hear, then, and neglect me not ! 

At this time, and on this spot, 

The words are uttered from my heart, 

As my last earnest prayer ere we depart. 

On good service we are going 

Life to risk by sea and land, 

In which course if Christ our Saviour 

Do my sinful soul demand, 

Hither come thou back straightway, 

Hubert, if alive that day ; 

Return, and sound the Horn, that we 

May have a living House still left in thee ! " 

" Eear not," quickly answered Hubert ; 
" As I am thy Father's son, 
What thou askest, noble Brother, 
With God's favour shall be done." 



THE HORN OP EGREMONT CASTLE. 343 

So were both right well content : 

Forth they from the Castle went, 

And at the head of their Array 

To Palestine the Brothers took their way. 



Side by side they fought (the Lucies 

"Were a line for valour famed) 

And where'er their strokes alighted, 

There the Saracens were tamed. 

Whence, then, could it come — the thought — 

By what evil spirit brought ? 

Oh ! can a brave Man wish to take 

His Brother's life, for Lands' and Castle's sake ? 

" Sir! " the Euffians said to Hubert, 
" Deep he lies in Jordan flood." 
Stricken by this ill assurance, 
Pale and trembling Hubert stood. 
" Take your earnings." — Oh ! that I 
Could have seen my Brother die ! 
It was a pang that vexed him then ; 
And oft returned, again, and yet again. 

Months passed on, and no Sir Eustace ! 
]S"or of him were tidings heard ; 
Wherefore, bold as day, the Murderer 
Back again to England steered. 
To his Castle Hubert sped ; 
Nothing has he now to dread. 
But silent and by stealth he came, 
And at an hour which nobody could name. 



344 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

None could tell if it were night-time, 

Night or day, at eyen or morn ; 

No one's eye had seen him enter, 

No one's ear had heard the Horn. 

But bold Hubert lives in glee : 

Months and years went smilingly ; 

"With plenty was his table spread ; 

And bright the Lady is who shares his bed. 

Likewise he had sons and daughters ; 

And, as good men do, he sate 

At his board by these surrounded, 

Flourishing in fair estate. 

And while thus in open day 

Once he sate, as old books say, 

A blast was uttered from the Horn, 

Where by the Castle-gate it hung forlorn. 

'Tis the breath of good Sir Eustace ! 

He is come to claim his right : 

Ancient castle, woods, and mountains 

Hear the challenge with delight. 

Hubert ! though the blast be blown 

He is helpless and alone : 

Thou hast a dungeon, speak the word ! 

And there he may be lodged, and thou be Lord. 

Speak ! — astounded Hubert cannot * 
And, if power to speak he had, 
All are daunted, all the household 
Smitten to the heart, and sad. 



THE HORN OF EGREMONT CASTLE. 345 

Tis Sir Eustace ; if it be 

Living man, it must be he ! 

Thus Hubert thought in his dismay, 

And by a postern-gate he slunk away. 

Long, and long was he unheard of: 

To his Brother then he came, 

Made confession, asked forgiveness, 

Asked it by a brother's name, 

And by all the saints in heaven ; 

And of Eustace was forgiven : 

Then in a convent went to hide 

His melancholy head, and there he died. 

But Sir Eustace, whom good angels 
Had preserved from murderers' hands, 
And from Pagan chains had rescued, 
Lived with honour on his lands. 
Sons he had, saw sons of theirs : 
And through ages, heirs of heirs, 
A long posterity renowned, 
Sounded the Horn which they alone could sound. 

1806. 



346 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



XY. 

GOODY BLAKE AND HARRY GILL. 

A TRUE STORY. 

[Written at Alfoxderu The incident from Dr. Darwin's Zoonomia.] 

Oh I what's the matter ? what's the matter ? 
What is't that ails young Harry Gill ? 
That evermore his teeth they chatter, 
Chatter, chatter, chatter still ! 
Of waistcoats Harry has no lack, 
Good duffle grey, and flannel fine ; 
He has a blanket on his back, 
And coats enough to smother nine. 

In March, December, and in July, 
'Tis all the same with Harry Gill ; 
The neighbours tell, and tell you truly, 
His teeth they chatter, chatter still. 
At night, at morning, and at noon, 
'Tis all the same with Harry Gill ; 
Beneath the sun, beneath the moon, 
His teeth they chatter, chatter still ! 

Young Harry was a lusty drover, 
And who so stout of limb as he ? 
His cheeks were red as ruddy clover ; 
His voice was like the voice of three. 



GOODY BLAKE AND HARRY GILL, 347 

Old Goody Blake was old and poor ; 
111 fed she was, and thinly clad ; 
And any man who passed her door 
Might see how poor a hut she had. 

All day she spun in her poor dwelling : 
And then her three hours' work at night, 
Alas ! 'twas hardly worth the telling, 
It would not pay for candle-light. 
Eemote from sheltered village-green, 
On a hill's northern side she dwelt, 
Where from sea-blasts the hawthorns lean, 
And hoary dews are slow to melt. 

By the same fire to boil their pottage, 
Two poor old Dames, as I have known, 
"Will often live in one small cottage ; 
But she, poor Woman ! housed alone. 
'Twas well enough when summer came, 
The long, warm, lightsome summer-day. 
Then at her door the canty Dame 
Would sit, as any linnet, gay. 

But when the ice our streams did fetter, 
Oh then how her old bones would shake ! 
You would have said, if you had met her, 
'Twas a hard time for Goody Blake. 
Her evenings then were dull and dead : 
Sad case it was, as you may think, 
For very cold to go to bed ; 
And then for cold not sleep a wink. 



348 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

joy for her ! whene'er in winter 
The winds at night had made a rout ; 
And scattered many a lusty splinter 
And many a rotten bough about. 
Yet never had she, well or sick, 
As every man who knew her says, 
A pile beforehand, turf or stick, 
Enough to warm her for three days. 



Now, when the frost was past enduring, 
And made her poor old bones to ache, 
Could any thing be more alluring 
Than an old hedge to Groody Blake ? 
And, now and then, it must be said, 
"When her old bones were cold and chill, 
She left her fire, or left her bed, 
To seek the hedge of Harry Grill. 

Now Harry he had long suspected 
This trespass of old Groody Blake ; 
And vowed that she should be detected— 
That he on her would vengeance take. 
And oft from his warm fire he'd go, 
And to the fields his road would take ; 
And there, at night, in frost and snow, 
He watched to seize old Groody Blake. 

And once, behind a rick of barley, 
Thus looking out did Harry stand : 
The moon was full and shining clearly, 
And crisp with frost the stubble land. 



GOODY BLAKE AND HARRY GILL. 349 

— He hears a noise — he's all awake — 
Again ? — on tip-toe down the hill 
He softly creeps — 'tis Goody Blake ; 
She's at the hedge of Harry Gill ! 

Eight glad was he when he beheld her : 
Stick after stick did Goody pull : 
He stood behind a bush of elder, 
Till she had filled her apron full. 
When with her load she turned about, 
The by-way back again to take ; 
He started forward, with a shout, 
And sprang upon poor Goody Blake. 

And fiercely by the arm he took her, 

And by the arm he held her fast, 

And fiercely by the arm he shook her, 

And cried, " I've caught you then at last !" — 

Then Goody, who had nothing said, 

Her bundle from her lap let fall ; 

And, kneeling on the sticks, she prayed 

To God that is the judge of all. 

She prayed, her withered hand uprearing, 
"While Harry held her by the arm — 
" God ! who art never out of hearing, 
O may he never more be warm ! " 
The cold, cold moon above her head, 
Thus on her knees did Goody pray ; 
Young Harry heard what she had said : 
And icy cold he turned away. 



350 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

He went complaining all the morrow 
That lie was cold and very chill : 
His face was gloom, his heart was sorrow, 
Alas ! that day for Harry Gill ! 
That day he wore a riding-coat, 
But not a whit the warmer he : 
Another was on Thursday brought, 
And ere the Sabbath he had three. 



'Twas all in vain, a useless matter, 
And blankets were about him pinned ; 
Yet still his jaws and teeth they clatter, 
Like a loose casement in the wind. 
And Harry's flesh it fell away ; 
And all who see him say, 'tis plain, 
That, live as long as live he may, 
He never will be warm again. 

No word to any man he utters, 
A-bed or up, to young or old ; 
But ever to himself he mutters, 
" Poor Harry Grill is very cold." 
A-bed or up, by night or day ; 
His teeth they chatter, chatter still. 
Now think, ye farmers all, I pray, 
Of Goody Blake and Harry Gill ! 

1798. 



351 



XYI. 



PRELUDE, 

PREFIXED TO THE VOLUME ENTITLED " POEMS CHIEFLY OF EARLY 
AND LATE YEARS." 

[These verses were begun while I was on a visit to my son John at 
Brigham, and were finished at Kydal. As the contents of the 
volume, to which they are now prefixed, will be assigned to 
their respective classes when my poems shall be collected in 
one volume, I should be at a loss where with propriety to place 
this prelude, being too restricted in its bearing to serve for a 
preface for the whole. The lines towards the conclusion allude 
to the discontents then fomented through the country by the 
agitators of the Anti-Corn-Law League : the particular causes 
of such troubles are transitory, but disposition to excite and 
liability to be excited are nevertheless permanent, and therefore 
proper objects for the poet's regard.] 

Ik desultory walk through orchard grounds, 
Or some deep chestnut grove, oft have I paused 
The while a Thrush, urged rather than restrained 
By gusts of vernal storm, attuned his song 
To his own genial instincts ; and was heard 
(Though not without some plaintive tones between) 
To utter, above showers of blossom swept 
Prom tossing boughs, the promise of a calm, 
Which the unsheltered traveller might receive 
"With thankful spirit. The descant, and the wind 
That seemed to play with it in love or scorn, 
Encouraged and endeared the strain of words 
That haply flowed from me, by fits of silence 
Impelled to livelier pace. But now, my Book ! 
Charged with those lays, and others of like mood, 



352 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Or loftier pitch, if higher rose the theme, 

Go, single — yet aspiring to be joined 

"With thy Forerunners that through many a year 

Have faithfully prepared each other's way — 

Go forth upon a mission best fulfilled 

"When and wherever, in this changeful world, 

Power hath been given to please for higher ends 

Than pleasure only ; gladdening to prepare 

For wholesome sadness, troubling to refine, 

Calming to raise ; and, by a sapient Art 

Diffused through all the mysteries of our Being, 

Softening the toils and pains that have not ceased 

To cast their shadows on our mother Earth 

Since the primeval doom. Such is the grace 

Which, though unsued for, fails not to descend 

With heavenly inspiration ; such the aim 

That Eeason dictates ; and, as even the wish 

Has virtue in it, why should hope to me 

Be wanting that sometimes, where fancied ills 

Harass the mind and strip from off the bowers 

Of private life their natural pleasantness, 

A Voice — devoted to the love whose seeds 

Are sown in every human breast, to beauty 

Lodged within compass of the humblest sight, 

To cheerful intercourse with wood and field, 

And sympathy with man's substantial griefs — 

Will not be heard in vain ? And in those days 

When unforeseen distress spreads far and wide 

Among a People mournfully cast down, 

Or into anger roused by venal words 

In recklessness flung out to overturn 

The judgment, and divert the general heart 

Prom mutual good — some strain of thine, my Book ! 



TO A CHILD. 

Caught at propitious intervals, may win 

Listeners who not unwillingly admit 

Kindly emotion tending to console 

And reconcile ; and both with young and old 

Exalt the sense of thoughtful gratitude 

~For benefits that still survive, by faith 

In progress, under laws divine, maintained. 

RYDAL MOUNT, 

March 26, 1842. 



XVII. 

TO A CHILD. 

WRITTEN IN HER ALBUM. 



[This quatrain was extempore on observing this image, as I had 
often done, on the lawn of Rydal Mount. It was first written 
down in the x\lbum of my God-daughter, Rotha Quillinan.] 

Small service is true service while it lasts : 

Of humblest Friends, bright Creature! scorn not one: 

The Daisy, by the shadow that it casts, 

Protects the lingering dew-drop from the Sun. 

1834. 



354 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



LINES 

written in the album op the countess op lonsdale, 
nov. 5, 1834. 

[This is a faithful picture of that amiable Lady, as she then was. 
The youthfulness of figure and demeanour and habits, which 
she retained in almost unprecedented degree, departed a very 
few years after, and she died without violent disease by gradual 
decay before she reached the period of old age.] 

Lady ! a Pen (perhaps with thy regard, 

Among the Favoured, favoured not the least) 

Left, 'mid the Records of this Book inscribed, 

Deliberate traces, registers of thought 

And feeling, suited to the place and time 

That gave them birth : — months passed, and still this 

hand, 
That had not been too timid to imprint 
Words which the virtues of thy Lord inspired, 
Was yet not bold enough to write of Thee. 
And why that scrupulous reserve ? In sooth 
The blameless cause lay in the Theme itself. 
Flowers are there many that delight to strive 
With the sharp wind, and seem to court the shower, 
Yet are by nature careless of the sun 
Whether he shine on them or not ; and some, 
Where'er he moves along the unclouded sky, 
Turn a broad front full on his nattering beams : 
Others do rather from their notice shrink, 
Loving the dewy shade, — a humble band, 



LINES. 355 

Modest and sweet, a progeny of earth, 
Congenial with thy mind and character, 
High-born Augusta ! 

"Witness Towers, and Groves ! 
And Thou, wild Stream, that giv'st the honoured name 
Of Lowther to this ancient Line, bear witness 
From thy most secret haunts ; and ye Parterres, 
Which She is pleased and proud to call her own, 
Witness how oft upon my noble Friend 
Mute offerings, tribute from an inward sense 
Of admiration and respectful love, 
Have waited — till the affections could no more 
Endure that silence, and broke out in song, 
Snatches of music taken up and dropt 
Like those self- solacing, those under, notes 
Trilled by the redbreast, when autumnal leaves 
Are thin upon the bough. Mine, only mine, 
The pleasure was, and no one heard the praise, 
Checked, in the moment of its issue, checked 
And reprehended, by a fancied blush 
From the pure qualities that called it forth. 

Thus Virtue lives debarred from Virtue's meed ; 
Thus, Lady, is retiredness a veil 
That, while it only spreads a softening charm 
O'er features looked at by discerning eyes, 
Hides half their beauty from the common gaze ; 
And thus, even on the exposed and breezy hill 
Of lofty station, female goodness walks, 
When side by side with lunar gentleness, 
As in a cloister. Yet the grateful Poor 
(Such the immunities of low estate, 
Plain Nature's enviable privilege, 
Her sacred recompence for many wants) 



356 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Open their hearts before Thee, pouring out 

All that they think and feel, with tears of joy ; 

And benedictions not unheard in heaven : 

And friend in the ear of friend, where speech is free 

To follow truth, is eloquent as they. 

Then let the Book receive in these prompt lines 
A just memorial ; and thine eyes consent 
To read that they, who mark thy course, behold 
A life declining with the golden light 
Of summer, in the season of sere leaves ; 
See cheerfulness undamped by stealing Time ; 
See studied kindness now with easy stream, 
Illustrated with inborn courtesy ; 
And an habitual disregard of self 
Balanced by vigilance for others' weal. 

And shall the Verse not tell of lighter gifts 
"With these ennobling attributes conjoined 
And blended, in peculiar harmony, 
By Youth's surviving spirit ? What agile grace ! 
A nymph-like liberty, in nymph-like form, 
Beheld with wonder ; whether floor or path 
Thou tread ; or sweep — borne on the managed steed — 
Meet as the shadows, over down or field, 
Driven by strong winds at play among the clouds. 

Yet one word more — one farewell word — a wish 
Which came, but it has passed into a prayer — 
That, as thy sun in brightness is declining, 
So — at an hour yet distant for their sakes 
Whose tender love, here faltering on the way 
Of a diviner love, will be forgiven — 
So may it set in peace, to rise again 
For everlasting glory won by faith. 



357 



XIX. 

GRACE DARLING. 



Among the dwellers in the silent fields 

The natural heart is touched, and public way 

And crowded street resound with ballad strains, 

Inspired by one whose very name bespeaks 

Favour divine, exalting human love ; 

"Whom, since her birth on bleak North umbria's coast, 

Known unto few but prized as far as known, 

A single Act endears to high and low 

Through the whole land — to Manhood, moved in spite 

Of the world's freezing cares — to generous Youth — 

To Infancy, that lisps her praise — to Age 

"Whose eye reflects it, glistening through a tear 

Of tremulous admiration. Such true fame 

Awaits her now ; but, verily, good deeds 

Do not imperishable record find 

Save in the rolls of heaven, where hers may live 

A theme for angels, when they celebrate 

The high-souled virtues which forgetful earth 

Has witnessed. Oh ! that winds and waves could speak 

Of things which their united power called forth 

From the pure depths of her humanity ! 

A Maiden gentle, yet, at duty's call, 

Firm and unflinching, as the Lighthouse reared 

On the Island-rock, her lonely dwelling-place ; 

Or like the invincible Sock itself that braves, 

Age after age, the hostile elements, 

As when it guarded holy Cuthbert's cell. 



358 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

All night the storm had raged, nor ceased, nor paused, 
When, as day broke, the Maid, through misty air, 
Espies far off a Wreck, amid the surf, 
Beating on one of those disastrous isles — 
Half of a Vessel, half — no more ; the rest 
Had vanished, swallowed up with all that there 
Had for the common safety striven in vain, 
Or thither thronged for refuge. With quick glance 
Daughter and Sire through optic-glass discern, 
Clinging about the remnant of this Ship, 
Creatures — how precious in the Maiden's sight ! 
For whom, belike, the old Man grieves still more 
Than for their fellow-sufferers engulfed 
Where every parting agony is hushed, 
And hope and fear mix not in further strife. 
" But courage, Father! let us out to sea — 
A few may yet be saved." The Daughter's words, 
Her earnest tone, and look beaming with faith, 
Dispel the Father's doubts : nor do they lack 
The noble-minded Mother's helping hand 
To launch the boat ; and with her blessing cheered, 
And inwardly sustained by silent prayer, 
Together they put forth, Father and Child ! 
Each grasps an oar, and struggling on they go — 
Bivals in effort ; and, alike intent 
Here to elude and there surmount, they watch 
The billows lengthening, mutually crossed 
And shattered, and re-gathering their might ; 
As if the tumult, by the Almighty's will 
Were, in the conscious sea, roused and prolonged 
That woman's fortitude — so tried, so proved — 
May brighten more and more ! 

True to the mark, 



GRACE DARLING. 359 

They stem the current of that perilous gorge, 

Their arms still strengthening with the strengthening 

heart, 
Though danger, as the Wreck is neared, "becomes 
More imminent. Not unseen do they approach ; 
And rapture, with varieties of fear 
Incessantly conflicting, thrills the frames 
Of those who, in that dauntless energy, 
Foretaste deliverance ; but the least perturbed 
Can scarcely trust his eyes, when he perceives 
That of the pair — tossed on the waves to bring 
Hope to the hopeless, to the dying, life — 
One is a "Woman, a poor earthly sister, 
Or, be the Visitant other than she seems, 
A guardian Spirit sent from pitying Heaven, 
In woman's shape. But why prolong the tale. 
Casting weak words amid a host of thoughts 
Armed to repel them ? Every hazard faced 
And difficulty mastered, with resolve 
That no one breathing should be left to perish, 
This last remainder of the crew are all 
Placed in the little boat, then o'er the deep 
Are safely borne, landed upon the beach, 
And, in fulfilment of God's mercy, lodged 
"Within the sheltering Lighthouse. — Shout, ye Waves ! 
Send forth a song of triumph. Waves and Winds, 
Exult in this deliverance wrought through faith 
In Him whose Providence your rage hath served ! 
Ye screaming Sea-mews, in the concert join! 
And would that some immortal Voice — a Voice 
Eitly attuned to all that gratitude 
Breathes out from floor or couch, through pallid lips 
Of the survivors — to the clouds might bear — 



360 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Blended with praise of that parental love, 
Beneath whose watchful eye the Maiden grew 
Pious and pure, modest and yet so brave, 
Though young so wise, though meek so resolute — 
Might carry to the clouds and to the stars, 
Yea, to celestial Choirs, Geace Daeling's name ! 

1842. 



xx. 

THE BUSSIAN FUGITIVE. 

[Early in life this story Lad interested me, and I often thought it 
would make a pleasing subject for an opera or musical drama.] 

PART I. 

Enough of rose-bud lips, and eyes 

Like harebells bathed in dew, 
Of cheek that with carnation vies, 

And veins of violet hue ; 
Earth wants not beauty that may scorn 

A likening to frail flowers ; 
Tea, to the stars, if they were born 

For seasons and for hours. 

Through Moscow's gates, with gold unbarred, 

Stepped One at dead of night, 
"Whom such high beauty could not guard 

Erom meditated blight ; 
By stealth she passed, and fled as fast 

As doth the hunted fawn, 
Nor stopped, till in the dappling east 

Appeared unwelcome dawn. 



THE RUSSIAN FUGITIVE. 361 

Seven days she lurked in brake and field, 

Seven nights her course renewed, 
Sustained by what her scrip might yield, 

Or berries of the wood ; 
At length, in darkness travelling on, 

"When lowly doors were shut, 
The haven of her hope she won, 

Her Poster-mother's hut. 



" To put your love to dangerous proof 

I come," said she, "from far ; 
For I have left my Father's roof, 

In terror of the Czar." 
No answer did the Matron give, 

No second look she cast, . ■ 
But hung upon the Fugitive, 

Embracing and embraced. 

She led the Lady to a seat 

Beside the glimmering fire, 
Bathed duteously her wayworn feet, 

Prevented each desire : — 
The cricket chirped, the house-dog dozed, 

And on that simple bed, 
"Where she in childhood had reposed, 

Now rests her weary head. 

When she, whose couch had been the sod, 
Whose curtain, pine or thorn, 

Had breathed a sigh of thanks to God, 
Who comforts the forlorn : 



362 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

While over her the Matron bent 
Sleep sealed her eyes, and stole 

Feeling from limbs with travel spent, 
And trouble from the soul. 



Refreshed, the "Wanderer rose at morn, 

And soon again was dight 
In those unworthy vestments worn 

Through long and perilous night ; 
And " beloved Nurse," she said, 

" My thanks with silent tears 
Have unto Heaven and You been paid : 

Now listen to my fears ! 

" Have you forgot" — and here she smiled — 

" The babbling flatteries 
You lavished on me when a child 

Disporting round your knees ? 
I was your lambkin, and your bird, 

Your star, your gem, your flower ; 
Light words, that were more lightly heard 

In many a cloudless hour ! 

" The blossom you so fondly praised 

Is come to bitter fruit ; 
A mighty One upon me gazed ; 

I spurned his lawless suit, 
And must be hidden from his wrath : 

You, Eoster-father dear, 
Will guide me in my forward path ; 

I may not tarry here ! 



THE RUSSIAN FUGITIVE. 363 

" I cannot bring to ntter woe 

Tour proved fidelity. " — 
" Dear Child, sweet Mistress, say not so ! 

For you we both would die." 
" Nay, nay, I come with semblance feigned 

And cheek embrowned by art ; 
Yet, being inwardly unstained, 

"With courage will depart." 



" But whither would you, could you, flee ? 

A poor Man's counsel take ; 
The Holy Virgin gives to me 

A thought for your dear sake ; 
Best, shielded by our Lady's grace, 

And soon shall you be led 
Eorth to a safe abiding-place, 

Where never foot doth tread." 



PART II. 



The dwelling of this faithful pair 

In a straggling village stood, 
For One who breathed unquiet air 

A dangerous neighbourhood ; 
But wide around lay forest ground 

With thickets rough and blind ; 
And pine-trees made a heavy shade 

Impervious to the wind. 



364 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

And there, sequestered from the sight, 

Was spread a treacherous swamp, 
On which the noonday sun shed light 

As from a lonely lamp ; 
And midway in the unsafe morass, 

A single Island rose 
Of firm dry ground, with healthful grass 

Adorned, and shady boughs. 

The "Woodman knew, for such the craft 

This [Russian vassal plied, 
That never fowler's gun, nor shaft 

Of archer, there was tried ; 
A sanctuary seemed the spot 

From all intrusion free ; 
And there he planned an artful Cot 

For perfect secrecy. 

i 

"With earnest pains unchecked by dread 

Of Power's far-stretching hand, 
The bold good Man his labour sped 

At nature's pure command ; 
Heart-soothed, and busy as a wren, 

While, in a hollow nook, 
She moulds her sight-eluding den 

Above a murmuring brook. 



His task accomplished to his mind, 

The twain ere break of day 
Creep forth, and through the forest wind 

Their solitary way ; 



THE RUSSIAN FUGITIVE. 365 



Few words they speak, nor dare to slack 
Their pace from mile to mile, 

Till they have crossed the quaking marsh, 
And reached the lonely Isle. 



The sun above the pine-trees showed 

A bright and cheerful face ; 
And Ina looked for her abode, 

The promised hiding-place ; 
She sought in vain, the Woodman smiled ; 

No threshold could be seen, 
Nor roof, nor window ; — all seemed wild 

As it had ever been. 



Advancing, you might guess an hour, 

The front with such nice care 
Is masked, ' if house it be or bower/ 

But in they entered are ; 
As shaggy as were wall and roof 

With branches intertwined, 
So smooth was all within, air-proof, 

And delicately lined : 

And hearth was there, and maple dish, 

And cups in seemly rows, 
And couch — all ready to a wish 

For nurture or repose ; 
And Heaven doth to her virtue grant 

That here she may abide 
In solitude, with every want 

By cautious love supplied. 



366 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

~No queen, before a snouting crowd, 

Led on in bridal state, 
E'er struggled with a heart so proud, 

Entering her palace gate : 
Rejoiced to bid the world farewell, 

JSTo saintly anchoress 
E'er took possession of her cell 

"With deeper thankfulness. 



" Father of all, upon thy care 

And mercy am I thrown ; 
Ee thou my safeguard!" — such her prayer 

When she was left alone, 
Kneeling amid the wilderness 

When joy had passed away, 
And smiles, fond efforts of distress 

To hide what they betray ! 



The prayer is heard, the Saints have seen, 

Diffused through form and face, 
Resolves devotedly serene ; 

That monumental grace 
Of Eaith, which doth all passions tame 

That Reason should control ; 
And shows in the untrembling frame 

A statue of the soul. 



THE EUSSIAX FUGITIVE. 367 



PART III. 

'Tis sung in ancient minstrelsy 

That Phoebus wont to wear 
The leaves of any pleasant tree 

Around his golden hair ; 
Till Daphne, desperate with pursuit 

Of his imperious love, 
At her own prayer transformed, took root, 

A laurel in the grove. 



Then did the Penitent adorn 

His brow with laurel green ; 
And 'mid his bright locks never shorn 

No meaner leaf was seen ; 
And poets sage, through every age, 

About their temples wound 
The bay ; and conquerors thanked the Gods, 

With laurel chaplets crowned. 

Into the mists of fabling Time 

So far runs back the praise 
Of Beauty, that disdains to climb 

Along forbidden ways ; 
That scorns temptation ; power defies 

Where mutual love is not ; 
And to the tomb for rescue flies 

When life would be a blot. 



368 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

To this fair Votaress, a fate 

More mild doth Heaven ordain 
Upon her Island desolate ; 

And words, not breathed in vain, 
Might tell what intercourse she found, 

Her silence to endear ; 
What birds she tamed, what flowers the ground 

Sent forth her peace to cheer. 

To one mute Presence, above all, 

Her soothed affections clung, 
A picture on the cabin wall 

By Russian usage hung — 
The Mother-maid, whose countenance bright 

"With love abridged the day ; 
And, communed with by taper light, 

Chased spectral fears away. 

And oft, as either Guardian came, 

The joy in that retreat 
Might any common friendship shame, 

So high their hearts would beat ; 
And to the lone Recluse, whatever 

They brought, each visiting 
"Was like the crowding of the year 

With a new burst of spring. 



But, when she of her Parents thought, 
The pang was hard to bear ; 

And, if with all things not enwrought, 
That trouble still is near. 



THE RUSSIAN FUGITIVE. 369 

Before her flight she had not dared 

Their constancy to prove, 
Too much the heroic Daughter feared 

The weakness of their love. 



Dark is the past to them, and dark 

The future still must be, 
Till pitying Saints conduct her bark 

Into a safer sea — 
Or gentle Nature close her eyes, 

And set her Spirit free 
From the altar of this sacrifice, 

In vestal purity. 

Yet, when above the forest-glooms 

The white swans southward passed, 
High as the pitch of their swift plumes 

Her fancy rode the blast ; 
And bore her toward the fields of France 

Her Father's native land, 
To mingle in the rustic dance, 

The happiest of the band ! 

Of those beloved fields she oft 

Had heard her Father tell 
In phrase that now with echoes soft 

Haunted her lonely cell ; 
She saw the hereditary bowers, 

She heard the ancestral stream ; 
The Kremlin and its haughty towers 

Forgotten like a dream ! 



370 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



PART IV. 

The ever-changing Moon had traced 

Twelve times her monthly round, 
"When through the unfrequented "Waste 

"Was heard a startling sound ; 
A shout thrice sent from one who chased 

At speed a wounded deer, 
Bounding through branches interlaced, 

And where the wood was clear. 



The fainting creature took the marsh, 

And toward the Island fled, 
While plovers screamed with tumult harsh 

Above his antlered head ; 
This, Ina saw ; and, pale with fear, 

Shrunk to her citadel ; 
The desperate deer rushed on, and near 

The tangled covert fell. 



Across the marsh, the game in view, 

The Hunter followed fast, 
Nor paused, till o'er the stag he blew 

A death-proclaiming blast ; 
Then, resting on her upright mind, 

Came forth the Maid — " In me 
Behold," she said, "a stricken Hind 

Pursued by destiny ! 



THE KUSSIAN FUGITIVE. 371 

" Erom jour deportment, Sir ! I deem 

That you have worn a sword, 
And will not hold in light esteem 

A suffering woman's word ; 
There is my covert, there perchance 

I might have lain concealed, 
My fortunes hid, my countenance 

Not even to you revealed. 



" Tears might be shed, and I might pray, 

Crouching and terrified, 
That what has been unveiled to day, 

Tou would in mystery hide ; 
But I will not defile with dust 

The knee that bends to adore 
The God in heaven ; — attend, be just ; 

This ask I, and no more ! 

" I speak not of the winter's cold, 

For summer's heat exchanged, 
While I have lodged in this rough hold, 

Erom social life estranged ; 
Nor yet of trouble and alarms : 

High Heaven is my defence ; 
And every season has soft arms 

Eor injured Innocence. 

" Erom Moscow to the "Wilderness 

It was my choice to come, 
Lest virtue should be harbourless, 

And honour want a home ; 

B B 2 



372 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

And nappy were I, if the Czar 
Retain his lawless will, 

To end life here like this poor deer, 
Or a lamb on a green hill." 



" Are you the Maid," the Stranger cried, 

" From Gallic parents sprung, 
"Whose vanishing was rumoured wide, 

Sad theme for every tongue ; 
Who foiled an Emperor's eager quest ? 

You, Lady, forced to wear 
These rude habiliments, and rest 

Your head in this dark lair ! ' ' 



But wonder, pity, soon were quelled ; 

And in her face and mien 
The soul's pure brightness he beheld 

Without a veil between : 
He loved, he hoped, — a holy name 

Kindled 'mid rapturous tears ; 
The passion of a moment came 

As on the wings of years. 

" Such bounty is no gift of chance," 

Exclaimed he ; " righteous Heaven, 
Preparing your deliverance, 

To me the charge hath given. 
The Czar full oft in words and deeds 

Is stormy and self-willed ; 
But, when the Lady Catherine pleads, 

His violence is stilled. 



THE RUSSIAN FUGITIVE. 373 

" Leave open to my wish the course, 

And I to her will go ; 
Prom that humane and heavenly source, 

Good, only good, can now." 
Faint sanction given, the Cavalier 

"Was eager to depart, 
Though question followed question, dear 

To the Maiden's filial heart. 



Light was his step, — his hopes, more light, 

Kept pace with his desires ; 
And the fifth morning gave him sight 

Of Moscow's glittering spires. 
He sued : — heart-smitten by the wrong, 

To the lorn Fugitive 
The Emperor sent a pledge as strong 

As sovereign power could give. 

O more than mighty change ! If e'er 

Amazement rose to pain, 
And joy's excess produced a fear 

Of something void and vain ; 
'Twas when the Parents, who had mourned 

So long the lost as dead, 
Beheld their only Child returned, 

The household floor to tread. 

Soon gratitude gave way to love 

Within the Maiden's breast ': 
Delivered and Deliverer move 

In bridal garments drest ; 



374 MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 

Meek Catherine had her own reward ; 

The Czar bestowed a dower ; 
And universal Moscow shared 

The triumph of that hour. 



Mowers strewed the ground ; the nuptial feast 

Was held with costly state ; 
And there, 'mid many a noble guest, 

The Foster-parents sate ; 
Encouraged by the imperial eye, 

They shrank not into shade ; 
Great was their bliss, the honour high 

To them and nature paid ! 

1830. 



NOTES. 

Page 1. 
1 Ecclesiastical Sonnets.* 

During the month of December, 1820, I accompanied a much- 
beloved and honoured Friend in a walk through different parts of 
his estate, with a view to fix upon the site of a new Church which 
he intended to erect. It was one of the most beautiful mornings 
of a mild season, — our feelings were in harmony with the cherishing 
iDfluences of the scene ; and such being our purpose, we were 
naturally led to look back upon past events with wonder and grati- 
tude, and on the future with hope. Not long afterwards, some of 
the Sonnets which will be found towards the close of this series were 
produced as a private memorial of that morning's occupation. 

The Catholic Question, which was agitated in Parliament about 
that time, kept my thoughts in the same course ; and it struck me 
that certain points in the Ecclesiastical History of our Country 
might advantageously be presented to view in verse. Accordingly, 
I took up the subject, and what I now offer to the reader was the 
result. 

"When this work was far advanced, I was agreeably surprised to 
find that my friend, Mr. Southey, had been engaged with similar 
views in writing a concise History of the Church in England. If 
our Productions, thus unintentionally coinciding, shall be found to 
illustrate each other, it will prove a high gratification to me, which 
I am sure my friend will participate. 

W. Wordsworth. 

Eydal Mount, 

January 24, 1822. 

For the convenience of passing from one point of the subject to 
another without shocks of abruptness, this work has taken the 
shape of a series of Sonnets : but the Reader, it is to be hoped, will 
find that the pictures are often so closely connected as to have 



376 NOTES. 

jointly the effect of passages of a poem in a form of stanza to which, 
there is no objection hut one that bears upon the Poet only — its 
difficulty. 

Tage 3. 

l Did Holy Paul; &c. 

Stillingfleet adduces many arguments in support of this opinion, 
but they are unconvincing. The latter part of this Sonnet refers 
to a favourite notion of Roman Catholic writers, that Joseph of 
Arimathea and his companions brought Christianity into Britain, 
and built a rude church at Glastonbury ; alluded to hereafter, in a 
passage upon the dissolution of monasteries. 



Page 6. 

1 That Hill, whose flowery platform-,' &c. 

This hill at St. Alban's must have been an object of great interest 
to the imagination of the venerable Bede, who thus describes it, 
with a delicate feeling, delightful to meet with in that rude age, 
traces of which are frequent in his works : — Yariis herbarum 
floribus depictus imo usquequaque vestitus, in quo nihil repent e 
arduum, nihil praeceps, nihil abruptum, quern lateribus longe 
lateque deductum in modum sequoris natura complanat, dignum 
videlicet eum pro insita sibi specie venustatis jam olim reddens, 
qui beati martyris cruore dicaretur.' 

Page 9. 

' Nor wants the cause the panic- striking aid 
Of hallelujahs ' 

Alluding to the victory gained under Gfermanus. — See Bede. 



Page 9. 

1 By men yet scarcely conscious of a care 
For other monuments than those of Earth ; ' 

The last six lines of this Sonnet are chiefly from the prose of 
Daniel ; and here I will state (though to the Readers whom this 
Poem will chiefly interest it is unnecessary) that my obligations to 
other prose writers are frequent, — obligations which, even if I had 



NOTES. 377 

not a pleasure in conrting, it would have been presumptuous to 
shun, in treating an historical subject. I must, however, par- 
ticularise Fuller, to whom I am indebted in the Sonnet upon 
Wicliffe and in other instances. And upon the acquittal of the 
Seven Bishops I have done little more than versify a lively descrip- 
tion of that event in the MS. Memoirs of the first Lord Lonsdale. 



Page 9. Sonnet xn. 

* Ethelforth reached the convent of Bangor, he perceived the 
Monks, twelve hundred in number, offering prayers for the success 
of their countrymen : ' if they are praying against us,' he exclaimed, 
■ they are fighting against us ; ' and he ordered them to be first 
attacked : they were destroyed ; and, appalled by their fate, the 
courage of Brocmaii wavered, and he fled from the field in dismay. 
Thus abandoned by their leader, his army soon gave way, and 
Ethelforth obtained a decisive conquest. Ancient Bangor itself 
soon fell into his hands, and was demolished ; the noble monastery 
was levelled to the ground ; its library, which is mentioned as a 
large one, the collection of ages, the repository of the most precious 
monuments of the ancient Britons, was consumed; half ruined 
walls, gates, and rubbish were all that remained of the magnificent 
edifice.' — See Turner's valuable history of the Anglo-Saxons. 

Taliesin was present at the battle which preceded this desolation. 

The account Bede gives of this remarkable event, suggests a most 
striking warning against National and Religious prejudices. 



Page 11. Sonnet xv. 

The person of Paulinus is thus described by Bede, from the 
memory of an eye-witness : — ; Longse staturse, paululum incurvus, 
nigro capillo, facie macilenta, naso adunco, pert en ui, venerabilis 
simul et terribilis aspectu.' 



Page 12. 

' Marts life is like a Sparrow,' 

See the original of this speech in Bede. — The Conversion of 
Edwin, as related by him, is highly interesting — and the breaking 
up of this Council accompanied with an event so striking and 
characteristic, that I am tempted to give it at length in a transla- 
tion. ' Who, exclaimed the King, when the Council was ended, 
shall first desecrate the altars and the temples ? I, answered the 



378 NOTES. 

Chief Priest ; for who more fit than myself, through the wisdom 
which the true God hath given me, to destroy, for the good example 
of others, what in foolishness I worshipped ? Immediately, casting 
away vain superstition, he besought the King to grant him what 
the laws did not allow to a priest, arms and a courser (equum 
emissarium) ; which mounting, and furnished with a sword and 
lance he proceeded to destroy the Idols. The crowd, seeing this, 
thought him mad — he, however, halted not, but, approaching, he 
profaned the temple, casting against it the lance which he had 
held in his hand, and, exulting in acknowledgment of the worship 
of the true God, he ordered his companions to pull down the 
temple, with all its enclosures. The place is shown where those 
idols formerly stood, not far from York, at the source of the river 
Derwent, and is at this day called Gormund Gaham, ubi pontifex 
ille, inspirante Deo vero, polluit ac destruxit eas, quas ipse sacra- 
verat aras.' The last expression is a pleasing proof that the 
venerable monk of Wearmouth was familiar with the poetry of 
Virgil. 

Page 13. 

' such the inviting voice 

Heard near fresh streams ; ' 

The early propagators of Christianity were accustomed to preach 
near rivers, for the convenience of baptism. 



Page 14. Sonnet xix. 

Having spoken of the zeal, disinterestedness, and temperance of 
the clergy of those times, Bede thus proceeds : — ' Unde et in magna 
erat veneratione tempore illo religionis habitus, ita ut ubicunque 
clericus aliquis, aut monachus adveniret, gaudenter ab omnibus 
tanquam Dei famulus exciperetur. Etiam si in itinere pergens 
inveniretur, accurrebant, et flexa cervice, vel manu signari, vel 
ore illius se benedici, gaudebant. Verbis quoque horum exhorta- 
toriis diligenter auditum prsebebant.' Lib. iii. cap. 26. 



Page 17. 

* The people ivorlc like congregated bees. 

See, in Turner's History, vol. iii. p. 528, the account of the 
erection of Ramsey Monastery. Penances were removable by the 
performance of acts of charity and benevolence. 



NOTES. 379 

Page 19. 

• ( pain narrows not his cares.'' 

Through, the whole of his life, Alfred was subject to grievous 
maladies. 

Page 21. 

' Woe to the Crown that doth the Coivl obey .f 

The violent measures carried on under the influence of Dunstan, 
for strengthening the Benedictine Order, were a leading cause of 
the second series of Danish invasions. — See Turner. 

Page 29. 

1 Here Man more purely lives,' dr. 

1 Bonum est nos hie esse, quia homo vivit purius, cadit rarius, 
surgit velocius, incedit cautius, quiescit securius, moritur felicius, 
purgatur citius, prsemiatur copiosius.' — Bernard. ' This sentence,' 
says Dr. Whitaker, ' is usually inscribed in some conspicuous part 
of the Cistertian houses.' 

Page 37. 

1 Whom Obloquy pursues with hideous baric : ' 

The list of foul names bestowed upon those poor creatures is long 
and curious ; — and, as is, alas ! too natural, most of the opprobrious 
appellations are drawn from circumstances into which they were 
forced by their persecutors, who even consolidated their miseries 
into one reproachful term, calling them Patarenians, or Paturins, 
from pati, to suffer. 

Dwellers with wolves, she names them, for the pine 
And green oak are their covert ; as the gloom 
Of night oft foils their enemy's design, 
She calls them Riders on the flying broom ; 
Sorcerers, whose frame and aspect have become 
One and the same through practices malign. 

Page 41 . 

* And the green lizard and the gilded newt 
Lead unmolested lives, and die of age. ' 

These two lines are adopted from a MS. , written about the year 



380 NOTES. 

1770, which accidentally fell into my possession. The close of the 
preceding Sonnet on monastic voluptuousness is taken from the 
same source, as is the verse, ' Where Venus sits,' &c, and the line, 
' Once ye were holy, ye are holy still,' in a subsequent Sonnet. 



Page 50. 

' One (like those prophets whom God sent of old) 
Transfigured,"* &c. 

1 M. Latimer suffered his keeper very quietly to pull off his hose, 
and his other array, which to looke unto was very simple : and 
being stripped into his shrowd, he seemed as comely a person to 
them that were present, as one should lightly see : and whereas in 
his clothes hee appeared a withered and crooked sillie (weak) olde 
man, he now stood bolt upright, as comely a father as one might 
lightly behold. * * * . * Then they brought a faggotte, kindled 
with fire, and laid the same downe at doctor Ridley's feete. To 
whome M. Latimer spake in this manner, ' Bee of good comfort, 
master Ridley, and play the man : wee shall this day light such a 
candle by God's grace in Ed gland, as I trust shall never be put 
out.' — Fox's Acts, <kc. 

Similar alterations in the outward figure and deportment of 
persons brought to like trial were not uncommon. See note to the 
above passage in Dr. Wordsworth's Ecclesiastical Biography, for an 
example in an humble Welsh fisherman. 



Page 53. 

' The gift exalting, and with playful smile : ' 

1 On foot they went, and took Salisbury in their way, purposely 
to see the good Bishop, who made Mr. Hooker sit at his own table ; 
which Mr. Hooker boasted of with much joy and gratitude when 
he saw his mother and friends ; and at the Bishop's parting with 
him, the Bishop give him good counsel and his benediction, but 
forgot to give him money ; which when the Bishop had considered, 
he sent a servant in all haste to call Richard back to him, and at 
Richard's return, the Bishop said to him, ' Richard, I sent for you 
back to lend you a horse which hath carried me many a mile, and 
I thank God with much ease,' and presently delivered into his 
hand a walking -staff, with which he professed he had travelled 
through many parts of Germany ; and he said, l Richard, I do not 
give, but lend you my horse ; be sure you be honest, and bring my 
horse back to me, at your return this way to Oxford. And I do 



NOTES. 381 

now give you ten groats to bear your charges to Exeter ; and here 
is ten groats more, which I charge you to deliver to your mother, 
and tell her I send her a Bishop's benediction with it, and beg the 
continuance of her prayers for me. And if you bring my horse 
back to me, I will give you ten groats more to carry you on foot to 
the college ; and so Grod bless you, good Richard. '■ — See Walton'' s 
Life of Richard Hooker, 

Page 55, 
1 craftily incites 



The overweening, personates the mad.'' 

A common device in religious and political conflicts. — See Strype 
in support of this instance. 

Page 57. 

1 Laud.'' 

In this age a word cannot be said in praise of Laud, or even in 
compassion for his fate, without incurring a charge of bigotry ; 
but fearless of such imputation, I concur with Hume, ' that it is 
sufficient for his vindication to observe that his errors were the 
most excusable of all those which prevailed during that zealous 
period.' A key to the right understanding of those parts of his 
conduct that brought the most odium upon him in his own time, 
may be found in the following passage of his speech before the 
bar of the House of Peers : — 'Ever since I came in place, I have 
laboured nothing more than that the external publick worship of 
Grod, so much slighted in divers parts of this kingdom, might be 
preserved, and that with as much decency and uniformity as might 
be. For I evidently saw that the public neglect of Gfod's service 
in the outward face of it, and the nasty lying of many places de- 
dicated to that service, had almost cast a damp upon the true and 
inward worship of God, which while we live in the body, needs 
external helps, and all little enough to Jceep it in any vigour. ' 



Page 67. 

' The Pilgrim Fathers.'' 

American episcopacy, in union with the church in England, 
strictly belongs to the general subject ; and I here make my ac- 
knowledgments to my American friends, Bishop Doane, and Mr. 
Henry Reed of Philadelphia, for having suggested to me the pro- 



382 NOTES. 

priety of adverting to it, and pointed out the virtues and in- 
tellectual qualities of Bishop White, which so eminently fitted 
him for the great work he undertook. Bishop White was conse- 
crated at Lambeth, Feb. 4, 1787, by Archbishop Moore ; and be- 
fore his long life was closed, twenty-six bishops had been conse- 
crated in America, by himself. For his character and opinions, see 
his own numerous works, and a ' Sermon in commemoration of 
him, by George Washington Doane, Bishop of New Jersey.' 



Page 70. 

hearth 

And a refined rusticity, 
To the neat mansion, ' 

Among the benefits arising, as Mr. Coleridge has well observed, 
from a Church establishment of endowments corresponding with 
the wealth of the country to which it belongs, may be reckoned as 
eminently important, the examples of civility and refinement which 
the clergy stationed at intervals, afford to the whole people. The 
established clergy in many parts of England have long been, as 
they continue to be, the principal bulwark against barbarism, and 
the link which unites the sequestered peasantry with the intellec- 
tual advancement of the age. Nor is it below the dignity of the 
subject to observe, that their taste, as acting upon rural residences 
and scenery often furnishes models which country gentlemen, who 
are more at liberty to follow the caprices of fashion, might profit 
by. The precincts of an old residence must be treated by eccle- 
siastics with respect, both from prudence and necessity. I remem- 
ber being much pleased, some years ago, at Rose Castle, the rural 
seat of the See of Carlisle, with a style of garden and architecture, 
which, if the place had belonged to a wealthy layman, would no 
doubt have been swept away. A parsonage house generally stands 
not far from the church ; this proximity imposes favourable re- 
straints, and sometimes suggests an affecting union of the accom- 
modations and elegancies of life with the outward signs of piety and 
mortality. With pleasure I recal to mind a happy instance of this 
in the residence of an old and much-valued Friend in Oxfordshire. 
The house and church stand parallel to each other, at a small dis- 
tance ; a circular lawn or rather grass-plot, spreads between 
them ; shrubs and trees curve from each side of the dwelling, 
veiling, but not hiding, the church. From the front of this dwell- 
ing, no part of the burial-ground is seen ; but as you wind by the 
side of the shrubs towards the steeple-end of the church, the eye 
catches a single, small, low, monumental headstone, moss-grown, 
sinking into, and gently inclining towards the earth. Advance, 



NOTES. 383 

and the churchyard, populous and gay with glittering tombstones, 
opens upon the view. This humble, and beautiful parsonage called 
forth a tribute, for which see the seventh of the ' ' Miscellaneous 
Sonnets," Part 3. 



Page 80. Sonnet xxxn. 

This is still continued in many churches in Westmoreland. It 
takes place in the month of July, when the floor of the stalls is 
strewn with fresh rushes; and hence it is called the "Rush- 
bearing." 



Page 82. 

1 Teaching us to forget them or forgive.'' 

This is borrowed from an affecting passage in Mr. Gfeorge Dyer's 
history of Cambridge. 



' had we, like them, endured 

Sore stress of apprehension,' 

See Burnet, who is unusually animated on this subject ; the east 
wind, so anxiously expected and prayed for, was called the ' Pro- 
testant wind.' 



Page 85. 

1 Yet will we not conceal the precious Cross, 
Like men ashamed : ' 

The Lutherans have retained the Cross within their churches : 
is to be regretted that we have not done the same. 



' Or like the Alpine Mount, that takes its name 
From roseate hues,' &c. 

Some say that Monte Rosa takes its name from a belt of rock 
at its summit — a very unpoetical and scarcely a probable suppo- 
sition. 



384 NOTES. 

MEMORIALS OP A TOUR IN SCOTLAND, 1831. 

Page 108. 

1 Highland Hut? 

This sonnet describes the exterior of a Highland hut, as often 
seen under a morning or evening sunshine. To the authoress of 
the ''Address to the Wind," and other poems, in these volumes, who 
was my fellow-traveller in this tour, I am indebted for the follow- 
ing extract from her journal, which accurately describes, under 
particular circumstances, the beautiful appearance of the interior 
of one of these rude habitations. 

* On our return from the Trosachs the evening began to darken, 
and it rained so heavily that we were completely wet before we 
had come two miles, and it was dark when we landed with our 
boatman, at his hut upon the banks of Loch Katrine. I was faint 
from cold : the good woman had provided, according to her promise, 
a better fire than we had found in the morning ; and, indeed, 
when I sat down in the chimney-corner of her smoky biggin, I 
thought I had never felt more comfortable in my life : a pan of 
coffee was boiling for us, and having put our clothes in the way of 
drying, we all sat down thankful for a shelter. We could not pre- 
vail upon our boatman, the master of the house, to draw near the 
fire, though he was cold and wet, or to suffer his wife to get him 
dry clothes till she had served us, which she did most willingly, 
though not very expeditiously. 

' A Cumberland man of the same rank would not have had such 
a notion of what was fit and right in his own house, or, if he had, 
one would have accused him of servility ; but in the Highlander it 
only seemed like politeness (however erroneous and painful to us), 
naturally growing out of the dependence of the inferiors of the clan 
upon their laird ; he did not, however, refuse to let his wife bring 
out the whisky bottle for his refreshment, at our request. ' ' She 
keeps a dram," as the phrase is : indeed, I believe there is scarcely 
a lonely house by the wayside, in Scotland, where travellers may not 
be accommodated with a dram. We asked for sugar, butter, 
barley-bread, and milk ; and, with a smile and a stare more of 
kindness than wonder, she replied, " Ye'll get that," bringing each 
article separately. We caroused our cups of coffee, laughing like 
children at the strange atmosphere in which we were : the smoke 
came in gusts, and spread along the walls ; and above our heads in 
the chimney (where the hens were roosting) it appeared like clouds 
in the sky. We laughed and laughed again, in spite of the smart- 
ing of our eyes, yet had a quieter pleasure in observing the beauty 
of the beams and rafters gleaming between the clouds of smoke : 



NOTES. 385 

they had been crusted over and varnished by many winters, till, 
where the firelight fell upon them, they had become as glossy as 
black rocks, on a sunny day, cased in ice. When we had eaten our 
supper we sat about half an hour, and I think I never felt so 
deeply the blessing of a hospitable welcome and a warm fire. 
The man of the house repeated from time to time that we should 
often tell of this night when we got to our homes, and interposed 
praises of his own lake, which he had more than once, when we 
were returning in the boat, ventured to say was ' ' bonnier than 
Loch Lomond." Our companion from the Trosachs, who, it ap- 
peared, was an Edinburgh drawing-master going, daring the vaca- 
tion, on a pedestrian tour to John O'Gfroat's house, was to sleep in the 
barn with my fellow-travellers, where the man said he had plenty 
of dry hay. I do not believe that the hay of the Highlands is ever 
very dry, but this year it had a better chance than usual : wet or 
dry, however, the next morning they said they had slept comfort- 
ably. When I went to bed, the mistress, desiring me to "go 
ben" attended me with a candle, and assured me that the bed was 
dry, though not " sic as I had been used to." It was of chaff ; 
there were two others in the room, a cupboard and two chests, upon 
one of which stood milk in wooden vessels covered over. The walls 
of the house were of stone unplastered ; it consisted of three apart- 
ments, the cow-house at one end, the kitchen or house in the 
middle, and the spence at the other end ; the rooms were divided, 
not up to the rigging, but only to the beginning of the roof, so that 
there was a free passage for light and smoke from one end of the 
house to the other. I went to bed some time before the rest of the 
family ; the door was shut between us, and they had a bright fire, 
which I could not see, but the light it sent up amongst the varnished 
rafters and beams, which crossed each other in almost as intricate 
and fantastic a manner as I have seen the under-boughs of a large 
beech tree withered by the depth of shade above, produced the most 
beautiful effect that can be conceived. It was like what I should 
suppose an underground cave or temple to be with a dripping or 
moist roof, and the moonlight entering in upon it by some means 
or other ; and yet the colours were more like those of melted gems. 
I lay looking up till the light of the fire faded away, and the man 
and his wife and child had crept into their bed at the other end of 
the room ; I did not sleep much, but passed a comfortable night ; 
for my bed, though hard, was warm and clean : the unusual- 
ness of my situation prevented me from sleeping. I could hear the 
waves beat against the shore of the lake ; a little rill close to the 
door made a much louder noise, and, when I sat up in my bed, I 
could see the lake through an open window-place at the bed's head. 
Add to this, it rained all night. I was less occupied by remem- 
brance of the Trosachs, beautiful as they were, than the vision of 



386 NOTES. 

the Highland hut, which I could not get out of my head ; I thought 
of the Faery-land of Spenser, and what I had read in romance at 
other times ; and then what a feast it would be for a London Pan- 
tomime-maker could he but transplant it to Drury-lane, with all its 
beautiful colours ! ' — MS. 

Page 114. 
' Once on those steeps I roamed ' 

The following is from the same MS., and gives an account of the 
visit to Bothwell Castle here alluded to : — 

' It was exceedingly delightful to enter thus unexpectedly upon 
such a beautiful region. The castle stands nobly, overlooking the 
Clyde. When we came up to it, I was hurt to see that flower- 
borders had taken place of the natural overgrowings of the ruin, 
the scattered stones, and wild plants. It is a large and grand 
pile of red freestone, harmonising perfectly with the rocks of the 
river, from which, no doubt, it has been hewn. When I was a 
little accustomed to the unnaturalness of a modern garden, I could 
not help admiring the excessive beauty and luxuriance of some of 
the plants, particularly the purple -flowered clematis, and a broad- 
leafed creeping plant without flowers, which scrambled up the 
castle wall, along with the ivy, and spread its vine -like branches 
so lavishly that it seemed to be in its natural situation, and one 
could not help thinking that, though not self-planted among the 
ruins of this country, it must somewhere have its native abode in 
such places. If Bothwell Castle had not been close to the Douglas 
mansion, we should have been disgusted with the possessor's 
miserable conception of adorning such a venerable ruin ; but it is 
so very near to the house, that of necessity the pleasure-grounds must 
have extended beyond it, and perhaps the neatness of a shaven 
lawn, and the complete desolation natural to a ruin might have 
made an unpleasing contrast ; and, besides being within the pre- 
cincts of the pleasure-grounds, and so very near to the dwelling of a 
noble family, it has forfeited, in some degree, its independent ma- 
jesty, and becomes a tributary to the mansion : its solitude being 
interrupted, it has no longer the command over the mind in sending 
it back into past times, or excluding the ordinary feelings which we 
bear about us in daily life. We had then only to regret that the 
castle and the house were so near to each other ; and it was im- 
possible not to regret it ; for the ruin presides in state over the 
river, far from city or town, as if it might have a peculiar privilege 
to preserve its memorials of past ages, and maintain its own cha- 
racter for centuries to come. We sat upon a bench under the high 
trees, and had beautiful views of the different reaches of the river, 



NOTES. 387 

above and below. On the opposite bank, which is finely wooded with 
elms and other trees, are the remains of a priory built upon a rock ; 
and rock and ruin are so blended, that it is impossible to separate 
the one from the other. Nothing can be more beautiful than the 
little remnant of this holy place : elm trees (for we were near 
enough to distinguish them by their branches) grow out of the 
walls, and overshadow a small, but very elegant window. It can 
scarcely be conceived what a grace the castle and priory impart to 
each other ; and the river Clyde flows on, smooth and unruffled 
below, seeming to my thoughts more in harmony with the sober 
and stately images of former times, than if it had roared over a 
rocky channel, forcing its sound upon the ear. It blended gently 
with the warbling of the smaller birds, and the chattering of the 
larger ones that had made their nests in the ruins. In this fortress 
the chief of the English nobility were confined after the battle of 
Bannockbum. If a man is to be a prisoner, he scarcely could 
have a more pleasant place to solace his captivity ; but I thought 
that, for close confinement, I should prefer the banks of a lake, or 
the seaside. The greatest charm of a brook or river is in the liberty 
to pursue it through its windings ; you can then take it in what- 
ever mood you like ; silent or noisy, sportive or quiet. The beau- 
ties of a brook or river must be sought, and the pleasure is in 
going in search of them ; those of a lake or of the sea come to you 
of themselves. These rude warriors cared little, perhaps, about 
either ; and yet, if one may judge from the writings of Chaucer 
and from the old romances, more interesting passions were con- 
nected with natural objects in the days of chivalry than now ; 
though going in search of scenery, as it is called, had not then been 
thought of. I had previously heard nothing of Bothwell Castle, at 
least nothing that I remembered ; therefore, perhaps, my pleasure 
was greater, compared with what I received elsewhere, than others 
might feel.' — MS. Journal. 



Page 117. 

{ Harfs-hom Tree? 

i In the time of the first Robert de Clifford, in the year 1333 or 
1334, Edward Baliol king of Scotlane came into Westmoreland, 
and stayed some time with the said Robert at his castles of Appleby, 
Brougham, and Pendragon. And during that time they ran a stag 
by a single greyhound out of Whinfell Park to Redkirk, in Scotland, 
and back again to this place ; where, being both spent, the stag 
leaped over the pales, but died on the other side ; and the grey- 
hound, attempting to leap, fell, and died on the contrary side. In 
memory of this fact the stag's horns were nailed upon a tree just 



388 NOTES. 

by, and (the dog being named Hercules) this rhythm was made 
upon them : 

* Hercules killed Hart a greese, 
And Hart a greese killed Hercules. ' 

The tree to this day bears the name of HartVhorn Tree. The 
horns in process of time were almost grown over by the growth of 
the tree, and another pair was put up in their place.' — Nicholson 
and Burns' 's History of Westmoreland and Cumberland. 

The tree has now disappeared, but I well remember its imposing 
appearance as it stood, in a decayed state, by the side of the high 
road leading from Penrith to Appleby. This whole neighbourhood 
abounds in interesting traditions and vestiges of antiquity, viz., 
Julian's Bower ; Brougham and Penrith Castles ; Penrith Beacon, 
and the curious remains in Penrith Church-yard ; Arthur's Round 
Table, and, close by, Maybrough ; the excavation, called the Giant's 
Cave, on the banks of the Emont ; Long Meg and her Daughters, 
near Eden, &c. &c. 

Page 134. 

- Wings at my shoulders seem to play.' 

In these lines I am under obligation to the exquisite picture of 
" Jacob's Dream," by Mr. Alstone, now in America. It is pleasant 
to make this public acknowledgment to a man of genius, whom I 
have the honour to rank among my friends. 

Page 146. 

1 But if thou, like CocytusJ &c. 

Many years ago, when I was at Greta Bridge, in Yorkshire, the 
hostess of the inn, proud of her skill in etymology, said, that 1 1 the 
name of the river was taken from the bridge, the form of which, 
as every one must notice, exactly resembled a great A." Dr. 
Whitaker has derived it from the word of common occurrence in 
the north of England, ' ' to greet ; " signifying to lament aloud, 
mostly with weeping : a conjecture rendered more probable from 
the stony and rocky channel of both the Cumberland and Yorkshire 
rivers. The Cumberland Greta, though it does not, among the 
country people, take up that name till within three miles of its 
disappearance in the river Derwent, may be considered as having its 
source in the mountain cove of Wythburn, and thence flowing through 
Thirlmere. The beautiful features of that lake are known only to 
those who, travelling between Grasmere and Keswick, have quitted 
the main road in the vale of "Wythburn, and, crossing over to the 



NOTES. 389 

opposite side of the lake, have proceeded with it on the right 
hand. 

The channel of the Greta, immediately above Keswick, has, for 
the purposes of building, been in a great measure cleared of the 
immense stones which, by their concussion in high floods, produced 
the loud and awful noises described in the sonnet. 

* The scenery upon this river,' says Mr. Southey in his Colloquies, 
' where it passes under the woody side of Latrigg, is of the finest 
and most rememberable kind : — 

• ' ambiguo lapsu refluitque fluitque, 

Occurrensque sibi venturas aspicit undas.' 



Page 149. 

1 By hooded Votaresses,' &c. 

Attached to the church of Brigham was formerly a chantry, 
which held a moiety of the manor ; and in the decayed parsonage 
some vestiges of monastic architecture are still to be seen. 

Page 151. 

1 Mary Queen of Scots landing at WorhingtonS 

' The fears and impatience of Mary were so great, ' says Robertson, 
1 that she got into a fisher-boat, and with about twenty attendants 
landed at Workington, in Cumberland ; and thence she was con- 
ducted with many marks of respect to Carlisle.' The apartment 
in which the Queen had slept at Workington Hall (where she was 
received by Sir Henry Curwen as became her rank and misfortunes) 
was long preserved, out of respect to her memory, as she had left 
it ; and one cannot but regret that some necessary alterations in 
the mansion could not be effected without its destruction. 

Page 152. 

St. Bees' Heads, anciently called the Cliff of Baruth, are a con- 
spicuous sea-mark for all vessels sailing in the N. E. parts of the 
Irish Sea. In a bay, one side of which is formed by the southern 
headland, stands the village of St. Bees ; a place distinguished, 
from very early times, for its religious and scholastic foundations. 

* St. Bees,' say Nicholson and Burns, ' had its name from Bega, 
an holy woman from Ireland, who is said to have founded here, 
about the year of our Lord 650, a small monastery, where after- 
wards a church was built in memory of her. 



390 NOTES. 

' The aforesaid religious house, being destroyed by the Danes, 
was restored by William de Meschiens, son of Ranulph, and brother 
of Ranulph de Meschiens, first Earl of Cumberland after the Con- 
quest ; and made a cell of a prior and six Benedictine monks to 
the Abbey of St. Mary at York.' 

Several traditions of miracles, connected with the foundation of 
the first of these religious houses, survive among the people of the 
neighbourhood ; one of which is alluded to in these Stanzas ; and 
another, of a somewhat bolder and more peculiar character, has 
furnished the subject of a spirited poem by the Rev. R. Parkin- 
son, M.A., late Divinity Lecturer of St. Bees' College, and now 
Fellow of the Collegiate Church of Manchester. 

After the dissolution of the monasteries, Archbishop Grrindal 
founded a free school at St. Bees, from which the counties of 
Cumberland and Westmoreland have derived great benefit ; and 
recently, under the patronage of the Earl of Lonsdale, a college has 
been established there for the education of ministers for the English 
Church. The old Conventual Church has been repaired under the 
superintendence of the Rev. Dr. Ainger, the Head of the College ; 
and is well worthy of being visited by any strangers who might be 
led to the neighbourhood of this celebrated spot. 

The form of stanza in this Poem, and something in the style of 
versification, are adopted from the "St. Monica," a poem of much 
beauty upon a monastic subject, by Charlotte Smith : a lady to 
whom English verse is under greater obligations than are likely to 
be either acknowledged or remembered. She wrote little, and that 
little unambitiously, but with true feeling for rural nature, at a 
time when nature was not much regarded by English Poets ; for in 
point of time her earlier writings preceded, I believe, those of 
Cowper and Burns. 

Page 154. 

1 Are not, in sooth, their Requiems sacred- ties' 1 

I am aware that I am here treading upon tender ground ; but to 
the intelligent reader I feel that no apology is due. The prayers 
of survivors, during passionate grief for the recent loss of relatives 
and friends, as the object of those prayers could no longer be the 
suffering body of the dying, would naturally be ejaculated for the 
souls of the departed ; the barriers between the two worlds dis- 
solving before the power of love and faith. The ministers of 
religion, from their habitual attendance upon sick-beds, would be 
daily witnesses of these benign results ; and hence would be 
strongly tempted to aim at giving to them permanence, by em- 
bodying them in rites and ceremonies, recurring at stated periods. 



NOTES. 391 

All this, as it was in course of nature, so was it blameless, and 
even praiseworthy ; some of its effects, in that rude state of society, 
could not but be salutary. No reflecting person, however, can 
view without sorrow the abuses which rose out of thus formalising 
sublime instincts, and disinterested movements of passion, and 
perverting them into means of gratifying the ambition and rapacity 
of the priesthood. But, while we deplore and are indignant at 
these abuses, it would be a great mistake if we imputed the origin 
of the offices to prospective selfishness on the part of the monks and 
clergy : they were at first sincere in their sympathy, and in their 
degree dupes rather of their own creed, than artful and designing 
men. Charity is, upon the whole, the safest guide that we can 
take in judging our fellow-men, whether of past ages or of the 
present time. 

Page 160. 

1 And they are led by noble Hillary.' 

The Tower op Refuge, an ornament to Douglas Bay, was erected 
chiefly through the humanity and zeal of Sir William Hillary ; and 
he also was the founder of the life -boat establishment, at that 
place ; by which, under his superintendence, and often by his 
exertions at the imminent hazard of his own life, many seamen and 
passengers have been saved. 

Page 163. 

* By a retired Mariner.' 

This unpretending sonnet is by a gentleman nearly connected 
with me, and I hope, as it falls so easily into its place, that both 
the writer and the reader will excuse its appearance here. 



Page 165. 

' Off with yon cloud, old Snafell ! ' 

The summit of this mountain is well chosen by Cowley as the 
scene of the "Vision," in which the spectral angel discourses with 
him concerning the government of Oliver Cromwell. ' I found 
myself,' says he, * on the top of that famous hill in the Island 
Mona, which has the prospect of three great, and not long since 
most happy, kingdoms. As soon as ever I looked upon them, they 
called forth the sad representation of all the sins and all the 
miseries that had overwhelmed them these twenty years.' It is 



892 NOTES. 

not to be denied that the changes now in progress, and the passions, 
and the way in which they work, strikingly reaemble those which 
led to the disasters the philosophic writer so feelingly bewails. 
God grant that the resemblance may not become still more striking 
as months and years advance ! 

Page 168. 

1 On revisiting Dunolly CastleS 

This ingenious piece of workmanship, as I afterwards learned, 
had been executed for their own amusement by some labourers 
employed about the place. 

Page 173. 

1 Cave of Staffa? 

The reader may be tempted to exclaim, ' ' How came this and 
the two following sonnets to be written, after the dissatisfaction 
expressed in the preceding one ? " In fact, at the risk of incurring 
the reasonable displeasure of the master of the steam-boat, I re- 
turned to the cave, and explored it under circumstances more 
favourable to those imaginative impressions which it is so wonder- 
fully fitted to make upon the mind. 



Page 174. 

' Hope smiled when your nativity was cast, 
Children of Summer I ' 

Upon the head of the columns which form the front of the cave, 
rests a body of decomposed basaltic matter, which was richly 
decorated with that large bright flower, the ox-eyed daisy. I had 
noticed the same flower growing with profusion among the bold 
rocks on the western coast of the Isle of Man ; making a brilliant 
contrast with their black and gloomy surfaces. 



Page 175. 

* lona,' 

The four last lines of this sonnet are adopted from a well-known 
sonnet of Kussel, as conveying my feeling better than any words of 
my own could do. 



NOTES. 393 

Page 179. 

i Yet fetched from Paradise.'' 

It is to be feared that there is more of the poet than the sound 
etymologist in this derivation of the name Eden. On the western 
coast of Cumberland is a rivulet which enters the sea at Moresby, 
known also in the neighbourhood by the name of Eden. May not 
the latter syllable come from the word Dean, a valley ? Langdale, 
near Ambleside, is by the inhabitants called Langden. The former 
syllable occurs in the name Emont, a principal feeder of the Eden ; 
and the stream which flows, when the tide is out, over Cartmel 
Sands, is called the Ea — eau, French — aqua, Latin. 



Page 182. 

1 Canal, and Viaduct, and Railway, tell I ' 

At Corby, a few miles below Nunnery, the Eden is crossed by a 
magnificent viaduct ; and another of these works is thrown over 
a deep glen or ravine at a very short distance from the main 
stream. 

Page 183. 

* A weight of awe not easy to be borne.'* 

The daughters of Long Meg, placed in a perfect circle eighty 
yards in diameter, are seventy- two in number above ground ; a 
little way out of the circle stands Long Meg herself, a single stone, 
eighteen feet high. When I first saw this monument, as I came 
upon it by surprise, I might over-rate its importance as an object ; 
but, though it will not bear a comparison with Stonehenge, I must 
say, I have not seen any other relique of those dark ages, which 
can pretend to rival it in singularity and dignity of appearance. 

Page 185. 

* To the Earl of Lonsdale.' 

This sonnet was written immediately after certain trials, which 
took place at the Cumberland Assizes, when the Earl of Lonsdale, 
in consequence of repeated and long-continued attacks upon his 
character, through the local press, had thought it right to prose- 
cute the conductors and proprietors of three several journals. A 
verdict of libel was given in one case ; and, in the others, the pro- 

YOL. IV. D D 



394 NOTES. 

seditions were withdrawn, upon the individuals retracting and 
disavowing the charges, expressing regret that they had been made, 
and promising to abstain from the like in future. 



Page 256. 

' Descending to the worm in charity ; ' 

I am indebted, here, to a passage in one of Mr. Digby's valuable 
works. 

Page 290. 

1 All change is perilous , and all chance unsound." 

Spenser. 

sonnets dedicated to liberty and order. 

Page 292. 

* Men of the Western World." 

These lines were written several years ago, when reports pre- 
vailed of cruelties committed in many parts of America, by men 
making a law of their own passions. A far more formidable, as 
being a more deliberate mischief, has appeared among those States, 
which have lately broken faith with the public creditor in a manner 
so infamous. I cannot, however, but look at both evils under a 
similar relation to inherent good, and hope that the time is not 
distant when our brethren of the West will wipe off this stain from 
their name and nation. 

ADDITIONAL NOTE. 

I am happy to add that this anticipation is already partly 
realised ; and that the reproach addressed to the Pennsylvanians in 
the next sonnet, is no longer applicable to them. I trust that 
those other States to which it may yet apply will soon follow the 
example now set them by Philadelphia, and redeem their credit 
with the world.— 1850. 

Page 341. 
' The Horn of Egremont Castle.'' 
This story is a Cumberland tradition. I have heard it also 



NOTES. 395 

related of the Hall of Hutton John, an ancient residence of the 
Hudleston's, in a sequestered valley upon the river Dacor. 



Page 360. 
' The Russian Fugitive.' 

Peter Henry Bruce, having given in his entertaining Memoirs the 
substance of this Tale, affirms that, besides the concurring reports 
of others, he had the story from the lady's own mouth. 

The Lady Catherine, mentioned towards the close, is the famous 
Catherine, then bearing that name as the acknowledged Wife of 
Peter the Great. 



END OF VOL. IV. 



BRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WHTTEFBIABS.